Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness

We had a very moving service in Kid City this past weekend.  We're talking about forgiveness this month--a crucial skill/attitude for anyone to learn.  Adults and children that talk with me in counseling situations are hurting for all kinds of reasons--the wide array of all the situations is endless.  However, most of those people aren't able to get past whatever happened because of some slight or major issue with forgiveness (either with themselves or someone else).  Learning to forgive is that big!

We've talked about that with the students the past few weeks.  First, we made a mental list of all the things God forgives us for.  Once we realize how long that list is and how much we hurt God, it makes it a little easier to choose to not make someone else pay for what they've done to hurt us.  This past Sunday we took a fresh look at the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19--how when Jesus forgave this man, it drastically changed his life.  Someone who was so greedy before was now extremely generous!  We challenged them to realize that if we choose to forgive someone, it might change them, too!  We closed each service giving the students a chance to think of the people/person hardest for them to forgive, to write their name down on a slip of paper, to offer a prayer to God for help to forgive, and then drop it in a bucket as a symbol of letting go of the unforgivness toward that person. 

Not all the students got up--some just sat in their seat and watched, perhaps, because they are good forgivers already or, perhaps, because they weren't ready to forgive.  But many were willing to come forward--some with tears because they have been really hurt by family or peers, but they were ready to try forgiveness.  Perhaps, you could be inspired by their young faith to choose to not make someone pay for how they have hurt you.

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