Remember this- forgiveness is a choice. Love is a choice. Forgive like a kid.
If you lose your temper or do something like that to hurt a preschooler’s feelings, and you humble yourself to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong when I…. Will you forgive me?” I’ll bet every single time, every single kid, in a nanosecond, will respond, “Sure. I forgive you.” But with teens or adults? Not so much.
We grow up, mature, get all smart and stuff, and in the process of all that, we somehow forget how to forgive. And we somehow learn how to hold onto grudges at the same time, which makes for a poor end result. Unforgiveness and holding onto our hurts make us sick, emotionally and spiritually.
I think Jesus really meant what He said about needing to be like little children to order to enter the Kingdom of God. We need to remember how to forgive, because when we were little kids, we knew how. When some playmate or parent hurt us and wanted to make up, we said, “Sure, I forgive you. Let’s go play.” And that was the end of it. The end of it.
So, to help jog our memory banks of how we pulled that off (over and over), here’s a clue. We chose to forgive. We made a choice, and it was a mental, cognitive process, not an emotional one. If we allow our emotions to guide us, we get into trouble. If we allow our thoughts to guide our emotions instead of the other way around, we’ll discover we actually do remember how to forgive.
Remember this- forgiveness is a choice. Love is a choice. Choose like a kid.
If you can’t remember how, just can’t seem to let it go, and the bitterness and resentment is eating at you, I invite you to check out my forgiveness coaching page.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.