JOY for Today - Forgiveness Day 2022

Sometimes seeking joy is not a task you want to undertake. Sometimes we want to sit in our anger, sadness, or hurt and are not ready for joy. But, when you are ready to let that JOY back in, forgiveness is a necessary step.


A chalkboard shows the equation 70 x 7. Around it text overlay paraphrases Matthew 18:21-22: "'How many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?' 'No, not seven times, but 70 x 7 times.'"
June 26, 2022


Forgiveness Day Findings:


Did You Know:

  1. There is more than one day for forgiveness throughout the year? Additional designations for forgiveness include the third full week of June, July 7th, the first Sunday in August, September 27th, and October 7th. 
  2. Forgiveness is good for your health? Mayo Clinic studied the health benefits of forgiveness and contrasted them with the side effects of holding a grudge. Forgiveness improves relationships, mental health, blood pressure, immune systems, and heart health. (Mayo Clinic)
  3. Carrying a grudge literally weighs you down? After reflecting on a time participants withheld or granted forgiveness, the height of their jump was measured. The ones who forgave jumped an average of 3.3 inches higher than the ones who held a grudge. (Reader's Digest)
  4. Younger kids forgive more easily than older ones? Eight-year-olds in one study didn't require an apology to forgive while their ten- and eleven-year-old counterparts did. (Reader's Digest)
  5. Scientific research on forgiveness is relatively new? Scientific literature on forgiveness did not emerge until 1989. Due to its emergence, researchers believe public figures are beginning to understand the importance of reconciliation. (Reader's Digest)

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact most interests you?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Do you harbor resentment? If so, you're not alone. I've been there. I'm still there. I've been wronged in soul-crushing, identity-defying, emotionally-stifling, relationship-ending, belief-shattering ways. I'm no stranger to pain. And neither are you. 

When pain strikes, we want retribution. Our anger feels right, justified. We believe everyone should accept our point of view, and if they don't we become angry with them too.

But the truth is, everyone feels this way. And if we're all entitled to our own point of view and refuse to consider opposition to ours, reconciliation will never happen. Unforgiveness will reign. And unforgiveness destroys. It destroys relationships - with others, with ourselves, and with God.

But forgiveness heals. Forgiveness helps you heal emotionally, spiritually, physically, and relationally. 

Yet, even though I know the value of forgiveness, it's often still hard to forgive. Sometimes, I hold on to that pain. I feel justified in my hurt. I don't want to let it go. I want to remember the anger, to hold on to the bitterness, to protect myself from future harm. I tell myself my forgiveness is undeserved; what was done was unforgiveable.

But, in the end, I have a choice to make. I can choose to fill my heart with JOY or bitterness (Wolfe Stew thoughts on Proverbs 14:10) and forgiveness is a choice toward JOY.

To forgive, we release our grip. We let go of our resentment, our anger, the debt we feel we're owed, and we give our pain to God. We hand it over and trust Him to heal it. He alone is just (Deuteronomy 32:4), so is the only one qualified to effectively handle it. "I give these wounds to you, for only you can heal."

Often when we're hurt, our reality is shaken. At such a time, it helps to accept that we don't see things the way God sees them. And learning to see things the way God sees them, enables forgiveness. Afterall, He's the Master of Forgiveness (Isaiah 43:25). 

If you need practice learning to see from God's perspective, we've crafted a GROWTH for Today calendar with short, but impactful, exercises for precisely this purpose: to help us SEE what is true. Enlist today. We need you in the fight, Warrior!

We'd Love to Know:

What helps you forgive?


Bible Verses and Quotes about Forgiveness

Verses

  • "Make allowances for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." Colossians 3:13 NLT 
  • "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?' 'No, not seven times,' answered Jesus, 'but seventy times seven.'" Matthew 18:21-22 GNT 
  • "Jesus said: Don't judge others, and God won't judge you. Don't be hard on others, and God won't be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you." Luke 6:37 CEV 
  • "Whoever hides their sins will not be successful, but whoever confesses their sins and stops doing wrong will receive mercy." Proverbs 28:13 ERV 
  • "I, yes, I alone am he who blots away your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again." Isaiah 43:25 TLB 

Quotes

  • "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." - Nelson Mandela 
  • "I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him." - C.S. Lewis 
  • "I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."  - Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner 
  • "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." - Mark Twain 
  • "Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote inspires your desire to forgive more?


Forgiveness Day Activity Suggestions

Find forgiveness inspiration with these activity suggestions. We know forgiveness can be a challenge but hope you find support in these resources.

Our Nephew's Suggestion

"Forgive people you did things to that you shouldn't have."

We find this suggestion interesting, because a lot of times when we mistreat people it is because we haven't forgiven them for something. So, we encourage you to:
  1. Make a list of people that you've wronged recently - whether in word or deed. 
  2. Carefully consider, are you harboring resentment toward them? Is there something you need to forgive them for?
  3. If so, work toward forgiveness. Check out some of the options below to help you on this journey.
  4. In either case, consider apologizing for your words or actions (if you haven't already).

Our Suggestions

  • Forgiveness Poster
  • Watch a movie about forgiveness with suggestions from Lunchbox Productions. 
  • Read a book about forgiveness. A few that interest us:
    • PreK & K: I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems (Children's Library Lady)
    • 1st - 3rd: Sorry! by Trudy Ludwig; illustrated by Maurie J. Manning (links to Brightly)
    • 4th-5th: No Talking by Andrew Clements (links to Goodreads)
    • Teens: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (links to Goodreads)
    • Adults: Unoffendable by Brant Hansen (links to Goodreads)
  • Listen to songs about forgiveness. My favorites:

We'd Love to Know: 

How you teach your kids about forgiveness.

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...Independence Day!

Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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