Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness




Yesterday two dozen people in total took part in the morning and evening sessions of our series on forgiveness based on The Power of Forgiveness an award-winning DVD and book. http://www.thepowerofforgiveness.com/ At each session there were plenty of people who have taken part in other studies on forgiveness but we agreed that we need the repetition of the subject because there is nothing easy or straightforward about forgiving and reconciling.

The subject of forgiveness is so central to Christian faith. And it is so practical because many people seek out their minister to talk about alienation from loved ones, anger about old grievances, being "puppets of the past" to use one person's term. There are folk who would never argue with a partner or neighbour yet resent and despise them. These were the fourth and fifth times I have seen the first sections of the DVD and rather than growing bored I have found them increasingly meaningful.

I am somewhat surprised that more people didn't sign up for the evening session. I do think the speakers in the documentary and the conversation involving lots of thoughtful people might have helped those who are "spinning their tires" when it comes to forgiveness.

Any comments from participants? Thoughts about why people who struggle with forgiveness don't necessarily want to address it?

7 comments:

dmy said...

Just an observation ... I really believe we need to be able to forgive ourselves before we can move forward and forgive others. It can be scary to examine that concept, peeling back the layers and getting to the root cause of not forgiving is tough. We are all human and make mistakes but deep down realize we have no choice but to forgive... by not forgiving we not only hurt others we burden ourselves even more and that is way too heavy a load to carry and we need to give up that load in order to be at peace with ourselves.

johnny said...

Wish I could have made it last night, but working out of town all week...definitely intend to be there the next two Wednesdays. I could use some work in this area.

Laurie said...

Is it to late to join the morning group? Forgiveness is a hard idea. On the one hand easy to say,Yes I forgive but do you really mean it? How do you erase the feelings of hurt and betrayal.

Lori-Ann said...

I think one of the reasons it is so hard to forgive is because there is such power in withholding forgiveness. It's as if witholding forgiveness casts a spell, and harboring and repeating the story of our resentment is the incantation.

Laura said...

I am still chewing on the forgive and forget question.....God did give us the gift of memory, so maybe forget is just the wrong word. When you actually do the hard-work of forgiving, one cannot then just erase from their memory the things that have hurt them so like it or not, it is not "forgotten" . Maybe we just need to forget about re-living, both privately and publicly,that memory of being wronged/hurt . That we are in control of....hmmmm
The video as part of this weeks session was thought provoking......huge wrongs grappled with....the one commentator's reflection on compassion being the key to forgiveness struck me as a truth.

lionlamb said...

I have read your responses several times because they are so worthwhile. I hope others read them carefully.

By all means join us Laurie. We are going to start a little earlier this Wednesday and watch the first section again because it is so full of discussion opportunities,

Lori-Ann said...

Laura, I agree that the key component to forgiveness is compassion. There's no denying that to withhold forgiveness is also to withhold mercy.