Friendship and Forgiveness
The importance of forgiveness
by Jan Edmunds (revised, originally published in 2009)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the importance of forgiveness when we feel that we have been wronged.
Preparation and materials
- None required.
- Explain that you are going to tell the children a story.
Friendship and Forgiveness
Omar loved to play with his friend, Freddy. They enjoyed one another’s company and had lots of fun playing football and doing other things together, too. One day, they were playing in the garden with Freddy’s model aeroplane. Omar asked if he could have a turn and Freddy readily agreed.
The plane flew high into the sky with Omar at the controls. It looped the loop and flew upside down. Omar was really enjoying himself. Suddenly, the engine started coughing and spluttering. The plane broke into a spin and plummeted to earth, smashing the nose and a wing as it hit the ground. Freddy picked up the pieces. He was furious. ‘It’s all your fault!’ he said. ‘I never want to play with you again.’
Omar was very upset. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘I didn’t do it on purpose. I don’t know what happened.’
Then, Freddy saw Omar’s football on the lawn. He ran over to it and kicked it high over the garden fence. The ball bounced into the path of a passing lorry. When Omar looked over the fence, he saw that his favourite ball had been flattened. ‘Look what you’ve done,’ he said to Freddy. ‘That was your fault. Go away! I never want to be your friend again.’
Now Freddy was sad. He knew that he had done wrong, but he was very angry that his aeroplane had been damaged.
Several days went by and the boys made no attempt to see one another. Freddy’s mum mended his aeroplane and Omar’s dad bought him another football. However, neither of the boys was happy and they began to miss one another’s company. Omar sat on the bench in his garden and felt lonely. He was sad that he had ruined Freddy’s aeroplane, but equally sad that Freddy would not forgive him. Also, he still couldn’t forgive Freddy for kicking his ball into the road.
Omar’s dad saw how upset his son was. He knew what had happened. ‘You know, you’d be much happier if you forgave one another and were friends again,’ he said.
Omar realized how much he wanted to be friends again with Freddy. ‘I’ll go and see him,’ he said to his dad. Omar waved goodbye and was just about to open the garden gate when Freddy appeared. Omar was so pleased to see his friend.
‘I forgive you for crashing my aeroplane,’ said Freddy. ‘Please forgive me for kicking your ball into the path of that lorry,’ he added.
The boys realized that their friendship was more important than the aeroplane or the football. They shook hands. Now they were happy again and back to being the best of friends.
- You might like to discuss the story with the children. Stress that when someone does something to upset us, it’s not always easy to forgive them. Point out that:
- forgiving helps friends to be friendly again
- forgiving others makes us happier
Time for reflection
Remind the children that it is not easy to forgive. However, when we do, it makes us feel better as well as the other person.
There are many verses in the Bible that encourage us to forgive, such as Ephesians 4.32, which says, ‘We should learn to forgive.’
If appropriate, read the Lord’s Prayer or say it together, encouraging the children to listen out for the parts about forgiveness.
In this prayer, we are reminded about forgiveness: ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’
This means that when we do something wrong, we should ask for forgiveness and we should learn to forgive others when they do things that upset us.
Ask the children to think about whether they need to forgive someone today.
Ask the children whether they need to say sorry to someone and seek their forgiveness.
Pause to allow time for thought.
Please help us to be people who forgive.
Please help us to be people who are willing to say sorry when needed.
Thank you for our friends.
Please help us to be good friends and to care for those around us.