- Forgiveness is the link between being sorry and healing.
- The quality of the “sorry” is relevant and needs to be genuine for healing to take place.
- It is easy to say sorry but actions speak louder than words.
Sometimes it is difficult to decide who is in the right and there may be occasions when we say sorry for the sake of restoring relationships when we know that the fault is not predominantly ours.
True forgiveness means letting go of the hurt and not retelling others of one’s hurt.
Sometimes one can be sorry for an action because it upsets someone close to us but we know that the action is for the good of that person.
“Love means never having to say sorry” (quote from the film, “Love Story”) - if we love someone we won’t upset them in an ideal world, so would not have a reason to say sorry. If you have to keep saying sorry it becomes meaningless. When an apology is accepted there is a huge sense of relief, a weight is lifted off your shoulders. It is always good to learn from your mistakes.
The point was also made that when people do not forgive someone and dwell on the hurt they feel it can have a significant effect on their psyche and their physical health with conditions such as headaches, depression and insomnia being more prevalent.
Margaret then used the toothpaste demonstration to show how words are like toothpaste. Used correctly toothpaste keeps our mouths clean and healthy – like words to encourage, cheer someone up, helpful positive words that bring joy to others. Sometimes we become sloppy and the toothpaste comes out and sticks around the cap. Often comments such as moaning, complaining and being negative ends with bad moods and hurt feelings. If you squeeze the paste hard a mess goes everywhere. We can’t take back what comes out. You can’t take your words back, just like
you can’t put the paste back into the tube.
As we read in Ephesians 4:31-32, “Put away all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you”.
We are asked to forgive others as our Lord unconditionally forgives us and in so doing we can help to restore relationships, receive healing and enjoy greater mental and physical wellbeing.