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What is forgiveness?

Here’s what Sam says in this video. Check it out with your family, and then talk about the questions at the end.

Have you ever been mad? I mean really, really mad? And for a good reason, too. Like maybe a supposed friend spread rumors about you. Or your money got stolen from the locker room. Or you got in trouble for something that someone else did!

Or what about this: have you ever made a mistake? Like a really, really big mistake? A mistake so bad that when you think about it, your stomach hurts, or you can’t sleep, or you think things will never be the same?

And have you ever experienced forgiveness? Being forgiven after you made the mistake, and apologized, when someone said to you, “It’s ok. I’ll let it go.”

Or from the other side, forgiving someone who made you really mad – even though you had been wronged.

And that’s an important distinction, right? It’s so tempting to want revenge, or payback, or justice when someone has done you wrong. In those moments of anger, it’s hard to remember what it’s like to be on the other side.

But deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay does much more than let someone off the hook. Having the courage to let go and forgive is powerful, and it frees you – the forgiver — from the anger and resentment. In the end, it’s the forgiver who benefits most from forgiveness.

Ask your kids:

When have you asked to be forgiven? What happened?

Why is it hard to ask for forgiveness?

Why is it hard to forgive?