Alexander Pope (Poet, not a Papal Pope), once wrote ' To err is human, to forgive divine', and this will be very much the theme of this term.
Forgiveness is not only a concept from the Bible, though it is mentioned many times, the idea of forgiveness is also a spiritual one, whereby it has an impact on both sides of the act of forgiving.
The act of forgiving can release you from many burdens or from 'holding a grudge', which can restrict YOUR choices and happiness.
We often hear children say 'I'm not playing if he's playing', and this stays through life - 'I'm not going to your wedding if she's going'. In these circumstance , the only one to suffer is you.
Look to yourself to start forgiving and then forgiveness will come your way.
Sometimes people do things that hurt us or break things, but they don’t mean to. Sometimes, these actions are daft and can be a 3rd or 4th action in the ‘chain’. This doesn’t mean that the actions haven’t hurt us – either physically or emotionally – but this wasn’t intended.
One of the most common questions I, and all adults, will ask when something happens is ‘Did they do it on purpose?’ Most of the time the answer is ‘No’ or ‘don’t know’. This is where forgiveness, in today’s story, is important.
When someone does something that they didn’t mean to, it’s important to forgive and work out what can be done to make it better. It’s also important to look at what happened and think about how we can do things differently so that the same thing doesn’t happen again.
Later this term, we will look at how forgiveness of deliberate actions is important, but today let’s think about how we can all be happier when we forgive mistakes.
This video is all about what can happen if we ‘bear a grudge’.
Jesus Forgiving Peter
The following video show how Jesus forgave Peter after he had denied him.
I think that the message associated with this story is that despite our best efforts, sometimes we still let people down. We can do it through fear or peer pressure (as Peter did), or through forgetfulness (I'm definitely of that!).
In Peter's case, he felt he wasn't able to stand up for what he believed in as it would have endangered his life. I think that if he HAD have acknowledged Jesus, then Jesus would have felt guilty for whatever would have happened to Peter. That would have then made things even more complicated!
I' not sure about the answer to the first two, but the last one is a 'Yes' from me.
It still makes me think though - is it OK to let someone down if it doesn't change anything ? Peter saying 'NO' didn't change what was happening to Jesus; it just made his own path easier.
A Forgiveness Story
Once Upon a Time...
There were two friends who set out on a journey. They travelled through towns and villages, over hills and through valleys, and they met lots of people and had great adventures.
One day, they took a wrong turn and ended up lost in a desert. They started to get hungry and thirsty and began to argue about whose fault it was.
‘You said turn left’, shouted one.
‘I did,’ said the other.
‘No, you turned right’, he replied.
‘No, I mean right as in ‘right, I agree’!
And they argued long into the night until one of the friends turned around, said some unkind words and then stomped off.
The friend who had been hurt, knelt down and wrote on the sand, ‘My friend has just said unkind words’.
Eventually, the two friends came upon an oasis in the desert. A place with lovely palm trees for shade, a clear pool of water and a place to rest.
However, the oasis also held a nasty surprise, as around the pool of water were some rocks, and the friend who had been hurt by unkind words, ran towards the pool, tripped and fell into the pool.
‘Help, Help!’ he yelled, ‘I cannot swim’.
So the friend who had said the unkind words, jumped into the pool and saved his friend.
‘Thank you,’ said the man as he recovered on the sand. He then reached into his backpack, fond his notebook and wrote in it. He wrote ‘My friend saved my life today’.
The other friend was confused.
‘When I said unkind words to you, you wrote it in the sand. When I saved your life, you wrote it in a book. Why?’
‘Well, when someone does something unkind, if you write it in the sand, the wind will come along and blow it away. But when I write it in a book, it stays on the pages forever. That way, I keep hold of the good deeds and the bad ones drift away and I forget them’.
‘Thank you,’ said the first friend, ’I am sorry I was unkind’.
And so the friends worked together again and eventually found their way home.