Forgiveness from the heart and mind is difficult, but once done what is shared is the laughter of God.
The Very Rev. Canon Peter D. Haynes
St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church of Corona del Mar
How can one not struggle with forgiveness? The very difficulty to forgive reveals the kind of power it contains. Those who forgive hold the key to the realm of God, capable of unselfish love, and inner peace.
Any who have wrestled to forgive can attest to the challenge, but likewise to the healing, for both the forgiven and perhaps more significantly the one who offers forgiveness. I have been the recipient of forgiveness and I have forgiven — in both situations I have been humbled.
Rev. Sarah Halverson
Fairview Community Church of Costa Mesa
Contrition is not the same as transformation.
My forgiving is always conditional on whether the one who offended against me has truly changed and not simply apologized.
It is through one’s subsequent acts, not his words of remorse, that one demonstrates repentance and thereby becomes worthy of forgiveness.
Rabbi Mark S. Miller
Temple Bat Yahm of Newport Beach
My biggest issue with forgiveness is with repeat offenders. Even people who do not violate me personally, it is difficult to continue to give them the mercy that was extended to me. Jesus told Peter we are to forgive someone seventy times seven or in other words, without end. That’s one I work on daily.
Forgiveness is essential for my faith — Christianity. How can I represent Christ if I am not forgiving — even when I do not feel like being forgiving?
I would not be a good spiritual leader if I did not struggle with how my actions and words harm others and God. I would not be able to preach authentically about forgiveness if I had not personally struggled with forgiving persons who have morally wounded me.
And I could do none of this if I have not personally experienced God’s love and forgiveness.
Pastor Mark Wiley
Mesa Verde United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa
Bitterness and resentful anger will poison our life-giving water, cloud every thought and action, prevent us from reaching our full potential and contaminate all aspects of our lives.
Forgiveness allows us to move forward and enjoy the balance of our time on this earth.
Director of Interfaith Relations for Orange County
It is much easier to preach about forgiveness than to live it out.
While I cannot remember struggling with forgiving someone who asked for my forgiveness or for asking one I’ve offended for their forgiveness, forgiving someone who does not ask for it is at times difficult for me.
When a spirit of unforgiveness comes over me, I try to recall the words of the late Pope John Paul II: “Forgiveness is the restoration of freedom to oneself. It is the key held in our own hand to our prison cell.”
Father Stephen Doktorczyk
St. Joachim Church of Costa Mesa