On Sunday we talked about forgiveness. We discussed that the literal meaning of “to forgive” in Greek means to send something away; it means giving up and giving over. So when we forgive we are giving up and giving over our hurts, anger, desires for justice, and all that happened to God. We are literally sending to him everything and trusting that he can hold onto our hurts and deal with them. That’s what forgiveness is.
Forgiveness frees us from holding onto the burden of hurt. Forgiveness frees us from replaying that event or conversation over and over again in our minds. Forgiveness frees not only the other person but also ourselves because we no longer are holding onto the hurt – God is.
Forgiveness is not simply forgetting. It’s not saying “no big deal” when what happened was a big deal. It’s not pretending that a wrong didn’t happen. Forgiveness is sending away the wrong to God, so that you can be made whole. That’s what forgiveness is all about. And we can make a choice to forgive.
We ended with inviting people to make that choice. And yes forgiving is a hard choice. But it is the only choice that leads to healing, because forgiving leads to God.
So to make that choice we invited people to write down their hurts, betrayals, and unforgiveness and to “send it to God”. To do this we invited people to symbolically burn the paper, shred it, or toss it out. The point was to do something physical and tangible that would be a reminder that we have forgiven that person, and “sent it” to God. The point was to do something physical that echoed what we were doing emotionally and spiritually. We were sending away our hurts; we were forgiving others.
So that’s what we touched on yesterday. After church I watched a video sent to me by a member from the church. It’s on forgiveness and I think it illustrates well what we’re talking about. The last line of the video is a great reminder for us today, “If God doesn’t come in forgiveness cannot come”. So why not watch it and today seek to practice forgiveness and sent to God anything that you’re holding onto…
4 thoughts on “Learning to Forgive – Learning to Send Away”
When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future….Bernard Meltzer
That’s a beautiful quote!
Well said Andrew…
As I read this, an old song played in my head from Don Henley formerly of the Eagles “Heart of the Matter” it’s all about forgiveness….
That’s a great song, that I hadn’t heard in a long time till you mentioned it. My favorite line in that song that is really true and deep is, “how can love survive in a graceless age?” Great stuff