Unforgiven

A story about Hazel Bryan and Elizabeth Eckford popped up on my timeline as I was writing about forgiveness. It was an older article, written in 2011, about the unlikely friendship of Eckford, one of the Nine who tried to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, and Bryan, immortalized in all her racist rage, trying to prevent that from happening.

Their friendship blossomed after Bryan apologized, grew into a partnership over their shared experience, and then shriveled under the weight of suspicion from their communities and each other. Bryan’s conversion to and activities as an activist were not enough to gain forgiveness and acceptance among those she had hurt.

And I wondered…are we ever permitted to transition from the mistakes we’ve made…transform in the eyes of those who judge us harshly? Are there some grievances too egregious to be forgiven?

“Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.” Colossians 3:13, MSG

Inhale Friendship, Exhale Unforgiveness…
Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Unforgiveness…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Unforgiveness…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Forgiveness

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Reconciliation

We often tie forgiveness and reconciliation together. But forgiveness and reconciliation are separate processes. Forgiveness is something each of us can do on our own. Reconciliation requires the participation of another person or entity.

True reconciliation cannot happen without forgiveness. But we can forgive, yet consciously determine reconciliation is not possible…

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” Proverbs 4:23, MSG

Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Forgetting…
Inhale Reconciliation, Exhale Resentment…
Inhale Boundaries, Exhale Enabling…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Forgiveness

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Vengeance

One of my favorite shows is OWN’s “Greenleaf” which follows the deeds and misdeeds of a family leading a mega-church in the south.

The midseason cliffhanger saw the primary character in a life and death struggle with the show’s primary villain. Her inability to forgive led her to interpret her antagonist’s actions incorrectly, which led to heightened emotions (in this case panic), which led to actions that may lead to results contrary to what she wants.

She has looked for peace in his punishment, but peace can only come through forgiveness…

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18: 21-22, MSG

Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Punishment…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Revenge…
Inhale Truth, Exhale Vengeance…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Forgiveness

When I forgive, I free others and myself from past behavior, mistakes and regret. I’ve found that forgiving benefits all aspects of my life… from my relationships, and my health to my ability to focus energy on what I’m here to do.

Forgiveness removes hurt and resentment and allows me to see clearly to a much brighter future.

When you forgive you don’t change the past, you change the future.” Rev. Mark Anthony Lord

Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Victimization…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Blame…
Inhale Future, Exhale Past…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is Freedom

Forgiveness has been at the forefront of my experience over the past few years. And I’ve gotten really clear that being able to forgive others is about me…that I can forgive without another person doing anything…that forgiveness is freedom.

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Conditions…
Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Resentment…
Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Vengeance…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Forgiveness

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