John the Baptist saw Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Jesus takes away our sins. Do we do the same for others. What happens when we don’t forgive?
A teacher once told each of her students to bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to school. For every person they refuse to forgive in their life’s experience, they choose a potato, write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of their bags were quite heavy. They were then told to carry this bag with them everywhere for one week, putting it beside their bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to their desk at school, on the floor when playing games. The hassle of lugging this around with them made it clear what a weight they were carrying spiritually, and how they had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget and keep leaving it in embarrassing places. Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty smelly slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, but it is clearly a gift for ourselves too!