“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Lord’s Prayer)

We often do not forgive, because we don’t know how.
We don’t know what forgiveness is.
Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation.
Forgiveness is something you do INDEPENDENTLY of the person who has hurt you.
Forgiveness is how YOU resolve your past.
In fact, Rob Voyle advises you not to contact or write letters to the person you are trying to forgive.

Forgiveness is a precursor to reconciliation. While we may long for the day when all are reconciled, in this life, it may be impossible.

Reconciliation is an agreement about the future.
Reconciliation is an agreement between two or more people
about how they will work together in the future.
Never be reconciled to anyone who does not share your values.
It’s foolish to be reconciled to people who will continue to hurt or abuse you.

Consider, Jesus forgave the Romans who crucified him,
but he was never reconciled to the mission of Rome or their way of life.
Jesus forgave and loved the scribes and pharisees,
but he was never reconciled to their mission.

Prayer: Merciful God, help me to reconcile what has happened in my past, even though I may not be able to have a relationship with that person in the future.  Amen

Adapted from books and videos by Episcopal Priest Rob Voyle who has written and counseled extensively in Christian forgiveness. http://www.clergyleadership.com/faculty/robBio.cfm