Practicing Forgiveness with All Your Mind

Living Well in Through Lent - Living Compass

Reflection by Scott Stoner

In last Sunday’s reflection, Jake Owensby shared that the turning point in his decision to forgive his father was the spiritual counsel he received from a priest about his resentment. This wise priest encouraged Jake to think about the brokenness in his father, pain that no doubt contributed to his hurtful actions. 

There is a saying that “hurt people, hurt people.” It is often the case that people who hurt others have been hurt themselves. Reflecting on how someone else’s brokenness is often behind their hurtful actions in no way excuses the behavior, or that the person gets a pass for what they have done, but it does expand our perspective and understanding.

Becoming aware that it is often a person’s brokenness that causes them to hurt others or even do things that hurt themselves, while not excusing their behavior, does often soften our heart when thinking about the pain that has been caused. It is much easier to choose to forgive with a softened heart than with one that is still hardened by anger. 

Choosing to practice forgiveness toward someone who has hurt us because of their own hurt begins to break the cycle of “hurt people, hurt people.” When we are hurt, we can choose to pass that hurt on to another, or we can make the sometimes more difficult choice to forgive, thus ending the cycle of injury. 

Making It Personal:What do you think of the idea that “hurt people hurt people?” Have you experienced that, either with another person or with yourself? Have you ever found it easier to forgive yourself or someone else because you realized that their, or your own, brokenness was a factor in the hurt that was caused?

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.


Living Well Through Lent 2019
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