Day Five Reflection
Practicing Forgiveness with All Your Soul
Reflection By Scott Stoner
The Soul quadrant of the Living Compass model for well-being includes Spirituality as one dimension of wellness. For Christians, our spiritual understanding of wellness is grounded in the life and teachings of Jesus, as well as the other teachings of the Old and New Testaments.
Christian teachings about forgiveness completely align with our theme this week of practicing forgiveness as a way to overcome our natural tendency to protect ourselves. Jesus, of course, modeled this in the fullest way possible in his life and in his death.
The passage above from The Message translation of the New Testament describes well the heart of the Christian life. We are not in the driver’s seat. Suffering is part of what it means to be alive and self-sacrifice is the path to finding our true selves. All of this is quite countercultural in a world that defines the way to finding our true selves as more about building up and protecting our own egos.
We cannot practice forgiveness from our egos; a deeper practice of forgiveness must be rooted in the soul, in the depths of our spiritual lives. The ego’s agenda is to divide and protect, while the soul seeks to transcend and include. The ego insists on being in the driver’s seat, while the soul is humble enough to realize its need for God to be in the driver’s seat.
Making It Personal: Take a few moments and reflect on the scripture above from Matthew. What do you hear when you read it? Does it make you uncomfortable or do you find it reassuring? What do you think about the idea that deeper forgiveness must come from the soul and not from the ego?
Follow along with us on our retreat with our daily reflection and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner, Creator of Living Compass Wellness Initiative, The Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan, Chair of the Commission on Spirituality, Ms. Kathy Graham, Coordinator of Lifelong Christian Formation and The Rev. Kelley Hudlow, Coordinator of Communications.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.