Justice-Seeking: Forgiveness takes strength.
Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Which is tougher: winning a difficult competition, or forgiving someone who has hurt you? That’s the question posed in this episode. Liz and his friends must overcome some really hard challenges in order to win the game show, “The Champion.” Winning also requires them to vote against each other in order to advance toward the prize. So, it’s not a surprise that hard feelings are a result of participating.
What is it that makes it so hard for us to forgive? Sometimes it’s because we can’t take the blow to our pride that someone’s words (true or untrue) deliver. Sometimes it’s because someone has betrayed our trust, failing us in some way. Sometimes it’s because we think forgiving is letting someone off the hook when we think they should pay for what they’ve done. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding of just what it means to forgive.
Lewis Smedes wrote a book about forgiving (The Art of Forgiving: When You Need to Forgive and Don’t know How). In this book he offers these insights regarding forgiveness:
1. Forgiving takes hard work.
2. Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It means that we allow God to help us move on.
3. Forgiving does not mean that you condone what a person has done.
4. Forgiving does not always mean reconciliation. Forgiving is something that you can do on your own. Reconciliation takes two people.
5. Forgiving sets us free to live life at its fullest, allows God to work in our lives.
God’s command to us to forgive is backed up by his own actions—“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s remedy for unforgiveness is to command us to remember that we ourselves are forgiven people. We have no claim to superiority over anyone else because we ourselves are sinners saved by grace.
Teaching our children to forgive begins at home. Forgiveness should be a part of our everyday interactions with our children and among our children. Teach your children the language of forgiveness—making a request for forgiveness an automatic part of an apology, and extending forgiveness when accepting an apology. “I’m sorry, will you forgive me” is the kind of apology that honors God’s command and blesses others.
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. Q. What is the game show host’s name?
A. A. Jeff Newt.
Q. Q. Where was the game played?
A. A. In Granny Gecko’s back yard.
Q. Q. Why did Liz get angry with Scooter?
A. A. Because Scooter voted him out of the game.
Q. Q. Who was the first one voted out?
A. A. Lucille.
Q. Q. How did Liz decide to get ahead and win the game?
A. A. By cheating.
Q. Q. Who won?
A. A. Scooter.
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Q. Why must followers of Jesus forgive?
A. Because God tells us to forgive (Matthew 5:43-48, 6:14-15); because we are forgiven (Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32).