“Please forgive me for…” This is a very important phrase in our house. Before we had children we had some very good friends we would watch as they raised their children. We noticed that when their children did something to each other, they would ask for forgiveness rather than just say “sorry”. When we asked about it, these friends told us it was because when the children would ask for forgiveness they would actually have to realize that they did something to hurt someone else and had to take ownership for that offence and seek to make it right. However, when they would just say “sorry” there might be some underlying meaning behind the “sorry” (such as, I’m sorry I was caught or I’m sorry I didn’t hit you harder, or I’m sorry dad and mom are looking right now because when they turn their backs you’re really going to get it…you get the point!).
This week we are continuing on in our Spiritual Growth Campaign, Live like you were dying. This week we will be focusing on “Give Forgiveness” and this is just as important as asking for forgiveness. We all know the feelings we get when we hold a grudge against someone. Not only does it affect our feelings for that person, it can affect our health, general attitude and even our relationship with God. Many times when we refuse to give forgiveness we only hurt ourselves because the object of our un-forgiveness may not even realize there is a problem. Take a look at these verses:
Matthew 6:14-15-“Forgive people when they sin against you. If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
I would say that Jesus considers it important that we give forgiveness to others and if it is important to Him it should be important to us as well.
There are some times when children have a hard time with this concept so here’s a suggestion for you for this week as you work with the children in your life. Why don’t you read through Matthew 18:21-35 with the children in your life this week? Talk about how important it is to give forgiveness and why God puts so much emphasis on it. I would also encourage you to use some real examples from your own life. Talk to the children in your life about a time you gave forgiveness and how you felt; also share a time when you withheld forgiveness and how you felt about that. Use this time to get real and talk about forgiveness as that is important to a right relationship with others but essential to a right relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Walking by your side,