Reflection by Scott Stoner
There is a paradox when it comes to forgiveness. If someone has done something that has hurt us deeply, then they are the person whom we have to decide whether we will choose to forgive. At the same time, because they have wounded us deeply, it often feels like they are the last person we want to, or should, offer forgiveness.
In yesterday’s reflection, Jake Owensby poignantly described his struggle as a new parent to forgive his abusive father for the pain he had inflicted during his childhood. Jake’s anger and resentment blocked his ability to forgive his father, and only after he sought spiritual guidance did he realize this, and could began to let go of his resentment.
Jake’s story of forgiveness is personal and thus unique, yet all of us have stories of how we have been bruised by life. Perhaps we weren’t injured by our parents, but if we live long enough, someone will hurt or betray us, and we will then have the same choice that Jake had. We will then decide whether to hold on to our hurt and resentment, or begin the process of letting it go, and doing what we can to mend what is broken.
This week’s reflections will explore the theme introduced by Jake, that forgiveness is always a choice. Will we hold on to our resentment or guilt or will we begin the hard work of letting go of it so that we can forgive and heal ourselves and, perhaps, mend the relationship?
Making It Personal: What is your response to the quote from Jake? What thoughts do you have about “Forgiveness is a choice”?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
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.