Forgiveness

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

~ Lewis B. Smedes
(American author, ethicist, and theologian, 1921-2002)

◊ ◊ ◊

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.

~ Lewis B. Smedes

◊ ◊ ◊

Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
(American clergyman and civil rights leader, 1929-1968)

◊ ◊ ◊

Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

~ Matthew 6:12

◊ ◊ ◊

Prayer

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;
therefore, we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
therefore, we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, could be accomplished alone;
therefore, we must be saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our own standpoint;
therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr
(American theologian and ethicist, 1892-1971)

◊ ◊ ◊

Action

Forgiveness is for our benefit. Forgiveness is both complex and simple: complex because acceptance and love are bound up with it; simple because we are called to just do it and let everything fall in place afterward.

Whom do you need to forgive? What gets in the way of forgiving that person?
What do you need to forgive in yourself? What is getting in the way of extending forgiveness to yourself?

You might consider writing in a journal or sharing what you experienced.