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Forgiveness

Scripture: Mark 11:25

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. ”

Prayer

Adult:

Dear God,

I want to forgive, but not sure how to let go. It’s not the words which hurt as much as the hurt left in my heart. At times I felt like I’ve forgiven, but then the pain doesn’t stop. God, please just let me forgive and in many ways forget.

Child:

Dear God,

Please let me forgive those I need to forgive and accept forgiveness from others. Love, Me.

Activities:

Forgiveness is tricky because it is my belief most people want to forgive but still hurt too much or you think you’ve forgiven someone but can’t seem to get over the hump. For me it always comes down to God has forgiven me so I need to forgive others. Believe me, forgiveness is easier said than done. Yet, if you hold onto the hurt or anger instead of setting it free, the pain and hurt can consume you. You can become bitter and untrusting. My decision is to have peace instead of anger in my heart. Instead of holding onto the hurt of losing our baby Hope, infidelity, or not always connecting with my mother, I learned to understand the situation instead of continuing to judge. What I found is depression or a sense of disconnectedness caused us our strife. A big lesson learned is we can only change ourselves – we cannot change others. Each time I made the decision to not forget but to forgive. For each scenario it was easier to hand over the hardship to God and work through the healing process, then to hold onto the reason for forgiveness. The goal for this week’s activities is to work on peace, forgiveness, and acceptance in our hearts.

Adult

  1. Show forgiveness in love – make cookies, pick flowers, etc.
  2. Write a letter to who you are upset at but don’t send it. This is your time to express the hurt you’re feeling. It’s also a time to be real with God and the situation.
  3. Think about a time somebody forgave you when you did something wrong. Why do you think they forgave you? How did it make you feel when they forgave you?
  4. Journal on what you think is holding you back from forgiving someone?
  5. Journal on what you think you gain from not forgiving this person?
  6. Ask yourself if you know the person or situation well enough to truly understand why they did what they did
  7. Journal your own definition of what is forgiveness.
  8. Find something which will symbolize forgiveness for you and continue to reflect on it daily if needed or, at least, weekly

Child

  1. Ask your child what forgiveness means to them.
  2. Ask your child if they like to be forgiven. Then ask them if they think others also like to be forgiven?
  3. Ask your child what needs to happen for them to want to forgive
  4. Talk about a time you forgave them and why you decided to forgive them.
  5. Have them draw a picture of how they are feeling right now
  6. Use pictures to discuss what can happen if they stay bitter and don’t forgive
  7. Don’t force your child to forgive, but discuss the blessings of forgiveness. Forcing a child to forgive doesn’t teach children to be able to forgive on their own. If they don’t feel like forgiving someone at the moment give them space, but continue to discuss with the child what they need, in order, to want to forgive someone.