Inspiration Report

Inspiration Report


The Power of the Olive Branch

posted by Jennifer E. Jones

I recently had an occasion to forgive and forget. It’s always tougher than it sounds. It got me thinking about an age-old symbol for peace and what it can teach us about loving our neighbor as ourselves.

The olive branch has meant peace as far back as ancient Rome and Greece times. Because of its earliest uses, today we commonly think of extending the olive branch as a way of calling a truce between two warring parties.

If you’ve ever seen an olive branch, it’s not very strong. It’s actually quite delicate. It’s light enough to be carried by a dove as it’s often depicted in the Bible.

It’s interesting that something so fragile carries the weight of humanity’s most powerful gift: forgiveness.

To forgive someone is an essential element of peace. How can you be at peace with someone against whom you hold a grudge? Forgiveness is also part of the golden rule. We all long to be forgiven when we’ve messed up. We all want a fresh start. It only makes sense to give the thing we want the most away to other people.

So, the next time you can forgive someone (and trust me, there’s always an opportunity), think about the olive branch. Imagine in it in your hand and see yourself giving it to the person. How do they respond? What you hope is that they accept it graciously and you two can form a brand new relationship not based on the past.

Sometimes your olive branch will be ignored or worst yet rejected. You can’t force it on any one. It’s not a symbol of peace if you throw it at the person. Just lay it down. When he or she is ready, they know where it is and they know where to find you.

You don’t always have to wait until the person says he’s sorry. I’m a big fan of the do-over. I’ll go to the person and ask, “Hey, we got off on the wrong foot back there. Can we start over?” I can’t say it always restores the relationship, but it’s always worth a try.

Who needs your forgiveness? Make peace today. The olive branch may seem weak, but when offered in sincerity, it holds incredible strength.



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Hopeful Again

posted April 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm


I am going through a not very amicable divorce which was precipitated by an affair that my wife had with a coworker. It happened almost three years ago and two of them are now living together in the home that my soon-to-be-ex wife and I had built together. They also share custody of my three children half-time. I have struggled to let go and move on from that relationship, and realize that I have been stuck mostly do my own bitterness and anger about feeling betrayed and displaced from my home and marriage. I had several conversations with the OM after I discovered the affair and respectfully asked him to maintain his distance while my wife and I entered marriage counseling. He disregarded my request and continued the relationship. They have been public flaunting their relationship and touting their happiness for the past few years. I had been waiting for an opportunity to at least attempt to reconcile (for the sake of my children). I now realize that it will never happen, and need to find the strength to forgive them both and move on. It will be very difficult for me to ever reach out and shake this guy’s hand if opportunity arises.



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Recent Experience

posted April 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm


Hopeful Again, I sincerely hope you will get counseling, spiritual support, and whatever else to takes to try to forgive your ex and her new husband. Primarily for your sake and the sake of your children.

I just had a relationship with a man who had a similar experience to yours — it’s now been TEN years and he still hasn’t forgiven. He has had no interaction with the stepfather to his child. And his anger has only grown over the years. He’s unable to have a relationship with anyone because he’s constantly looking for signs that a woman will “disrespect”, “be bossy”, or “take advantage” of him like his ex-wife did. He has an explosive temper and unable to be happy. He also has sought out “religious” support and even Biblical verses (taken out of context) to support his unwillingness to forgive and behavior toward others, women in particular. He has even beaten his daughter with a belt out of frustration when she acts like her mother.

So I beg you — for your own happiness and that of our children, get help and forgive!!!



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Recent Experience

posted April 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm


Hopeful Again, I sincerely hope you will get counseling, spiritual support, and whatever else to takes to try to forgive your ex and her new husband. Primarily for your sake and the sake of your children.

I just had a relationship with a man who had a similar experience to yours — it’s now been TEN years and he still hasn’t forgiven. He has had no interaction with the stepfather to his child. And his anger has only grown over the years. He’s unable to have a relationship with anyone because he’s constantly looking for signs that a woman will “disrespect”, “be bossy”, or “take advantage” of him like his ex-wife did. He has an explosive temper and is unable to be happy. He also has sought out “religious” support and even Biblical verses (taken out of context) to support his unwillingness to forgive and behavior toward others, women in particular. He has even beaten his daughter with a belt out of frustration when she acts like her mother.

So I beg you — for your own happiness and that of your children, get help and forgive!!!



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B

posted April 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm


I know that God forgives you no matter what it is that you do that when you ask for forgiveness and you truly want to be forgiven that God forgives you that is something I believe but how does it work when your human when is enough enough when you keep forgiving someone yet they constantly keep lying or is that they lied so much when they are speaking the truth its becomes really hard for you to believe I understand you should always keep forgiving but when is enough enough on trying to keep trusting someone not to lie to you



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sarah

posted April 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm


Hopeful again: Your screen name/handle name says it all. You are
“hopeful again” and I sincerely wish you well. Remember “He not busy being born, is busy dying” B. Dylan. Move on… as we all do from broken hearts….better yet broken minds and broken spirits from loss.



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Randi

posted April 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm


Hopeful again- the BEST thing for you to do is to pray for your ex and her new man. Pray that they are happy and blessed with a long and wonderful marriage. You want to pray for them because when they are happy and blessed then your children can be happy and blessed as well. Think only positive thoughts about them, ask God to help you and before long everything about your situation will begin to change. Go for it, you will be glad that you did! Get on your knees and pray for their relationship!



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Linda

posted April 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm


Check out http://www.landmarkeducation.com
The Landmark Forum has a live 15 minute video online that will support you in registering for the weekend course so that you will be able to move forward in life. It’s profound! It’s nothing short of a miracle! It’s a global education!
Best Wishes!



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karen

posted April 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm


All sounds good to me. So where do you get olive branches?



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Jennifer

posted April 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm


To the man with the unfaithful ex…I can relate. As a woman who also went through similar right under my nose during my cancer treatments (yup – it happens), I have found myself going through the forgiveness process over and over. Sometimes, it just takes time. As I have spiritually built my loving relationship with God, He has shown me ways to take care of myself and my children that has helped me let go of the past and be more present in the now. All we have it right now. God offers us forgiveness and He is the ultimate judge. Not us. The best way to move forward is opening your heart to all the love that God has for you and your children. Bless the relationship, pray for them and move on for yourself. You may find yourself repeating the process until it actually sticks:) We are all His work in progress.
…and if spiritually you are not there yet…Landmark Forum…been there, did that and did the advanced years before the cancer, affair, divorce and living together now. Just knowing what I knew from that program help me tremendously. Sometimes it’s rinse and repeat:)
Many blessings to you and all who have to go through major life events to walk through forgiveness and learn this difficult lesson. But meeting the Lord through it – makes “you” the better person.



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LEONA

posted April 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm


As GOD has forgiven us our trepasses, surely you can forgive them. It is not easy, as I can attest to, but with time and prayers, you can do it. As your is filled with love for your children , the disappointment and any negative feelings of what was done to you will disappear. I pray GOD’s blessings upon you and your children, for I know HE will make everything alright if you trust in HIM!



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Brown Sugar

posted April 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm


I understand the meaning of forgiveness, I’ve placed mysef in several unhealthy situations, and it’s amazing how so many people don’t care about how they treat one another. I’m a good hard working, educated woman, but I seem to attract the oppisite of myself. So I always find myself giving the wrong man the benifit of the doubt, knowing they are really not worthy of my time. I’ve had this problem within my family as well. So I just finally threw up my hands and I allow God to lead me, and he took me to my perfect place of peace, and I allow him to work through me and work on me; which will mold me into becoming the woman he designed me to be. This method alone will prepare me for my future. I also receive counseling, because everyone needs someone to talk to… Now I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life and once I see people trying to get to close to me that does not have my best intention at heart I get away from them QUICK…. I keep my sheild of God on, and I pray over myself and my daughter daily… God is Good and when you listen and allow him to lead you, he will take you to places you’ve never dreamed of….



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Murph

posted April 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm


Forgiveness is a basic of Christianity. If we cannot forgive others for being jerks, how can we expect God to forgive us? Positions of other religions I am not sufficiently informed to say, but I would wager that forgiving others is up near the top of their list of virtues. But if you have trouble forgiving someone out of your own faith (which is not to be confused with leaving wife, children, or property unsecured near said jerk), consider doing so out of naked selfinterest. I have observed my father and others being consumed with rage over the stupidity and/or corruption of others. He/they also suffered from ulcers and high blood pressure. In my midlife years I noticed the same problems developing, wondered about the connection, and tried self-adjustment (no money out of pocket) rather than a visit to my family doctor. Today I can stay angry at any given arrogance or stupidity for about three minutes unless I stay focussed. I still remember if I want to check the data banks (you want to borrow how much?), but acid and pressure levels stay low. No ulcers, moderate blood pressure levels, and I smile a lot more than I frown, which saves wear and tear on facial muscles. Try it, you will like it!



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barbara

posted April 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm


First he needs to get help for a anger problem. second him and his ex/wife need to know that they need to keep their children safe from harm weather its from ex/husband or ex/wife the one thing that is not being address is the anger toward the daughter. if he his beating the daughter with a belt this is child abuse and he can be arrested and charge with a felony why is the ex wife not reporting this to the law. if the ex wife continues to let this happen knowing what he is doing to the child she can be charge also. please explain to me why noone has said anything. if you knowing know who these folks are, you need to get involved and protect this child i’m outraged that no one is doing nothing.



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Lise

posted April 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm


To Forgive and Forget or just forgive and not forget? ThaT IS my question.
Yes, “hopeful again” needs to pass through the process of forgiveness for himself, and his children. Surely he needs the connection to God to be as strong as ever. But what would be the advice if he did not have children?
Forgive and “move on”…
It is God’s “job” to forgive an love everyone, no matter what they do. But for us down here, even if God is our standard, we require some degree of protection. So yes, we may be able to forgive infinite number of times. But,we must ask, has the other person’s heart moved or is the other still in denial? Then, if this “change” has not yet happened, then we must act respectfuly towards ourselves and not fall back into the victim role again. To forgive and move on, apreciating the mysterious gifts of truth that this or these experiences have given us, without holding on to the grudge or bitterness, that is what can get us “hopeful again”. Anyway, real forgiveness (the closing of a circle)can only come if asked for sincerely. If the other does not ask to be forgiven, realizing that no matter the reason or excuse, they did something that HURT the significant other, then forgiveness is only for the benefit of the forgiver.



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MG

posted April 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm


Dear Hopeful again, I wish you and your children all the best. I know this is a very terrible time in your life and you must be wondering why this has happened to you. I just want to give you hope that things will get better, you will be able to forgive, if not forget. I to have been in your shoes and thought how can this happen to someone who made their relationship the most important thing in the world. But, it does happen. It happens to good people, nice people, and people that don’t deserve to be treated that way. My comfort was to put it all in God’s hands. I prayed to him that He would protect me and my kids, that He would watch over us, and that He would keep me strong for them. I prayed that if it was His will to bless me with a new spouse then I would wait for Him to do His work. It took two years, but I was faithful. Hopeful again, that was 16 years ago. We sometimes act as if we’re still on a honeymoon. I know you probably can’t see that far into the future right now, but please have faith that each day that goes by will get better. It will get easier. Stay strong for your children, let them see how a man of God handles such despair with tact and civility, and remember that what goes around, comes around. Keep your head up and show the OM that you’re bigger and better than that situation. And, don’t forget that God has someone in your future that will truly love you.



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Lou

posted April 28, 2011 at 9:16 am


Dear Hopeful Again, I wish the best for you and your family…stay strong and I would recommend get a good counselor or therapist. You can only change yourself and no one else. “Let go of stuff you have no control over!! You only have control over yourself and once you get the help and with God’s help you will be able to forgive. Holding on to the anger and unforgivenss only hurts you physically, emotionally and spiritually. You will grow so much from this experince and you will become a brighter and stronger individual. Do this for yourself and your children. God Bless!



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aaronisaac

posted April 28, 2011 at 11:22 am


I can also relate to the same situation! (15yrs)Wife military moved from job to job because i supported her in everything! My wife went to IRAQ and some1 else came back with a boyfriend. I sought GOD with all I had while she was gone with my twins of 3yrs old! He let me know what was going on even before i became aware of it! I followed his word. “FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED” She couldnt understand even after reading it in the Bible! (My family was saved at the time) So she spoke that she wanted a DIVORCE! The impact of that word didnt crush me as you think because GOD had filled that space. So FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY AS WELL AS LOVE! If we understand who he is. He perpares us before hand if we listen! Your family is COVERED because of the HOLY COVENET YOU MADE WITH GOD AND HE WANTS YOU TO HAPPY AND ENJOY TRUE PEACE AND LOVE! (STOP AND LOOK AROUND YOU) GOD HAS GIVING YOU THE GIFT OF CHILDREN DONT SHOW HURT AND PAIN TO THEM SHOW LOVE,LIFE,LAUGHTER,BE A FATHER AND TEACH THEM Dont live your life through the pain of your ex, and the child she married, I say that because any person that goes after a married person has a adolescent state of mind! and it will prosper! Not in the eyes of the LORD! SO LIVE AGAIN AND I LOVE YOU!



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Mike

posted April 28, 2011 at 11:54 am


Interesting!



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LINDA

posted April 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm


I HAVE HEARD ABOUT THE OLIVE BRANCH MANY, MANY TIMES, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHERE YOU CAN BUY THEM, I WOULD LIKE TO BUY SERVAL, I HAVE BIBLE STUDY AND I THINK IT WOULD BE GREAT TO GET LOTS OF THEM AND GIVE IT TO EVERYONE TO NOT ONLY TO TEACH THEM ABOUT IT BUT LET THEM USE IT FOR THEIR OWN USE IF IT EVER CAME ABOUT, SO IF ANYONE CAN GIVE ME IMFORATION ABOUT HOW TO GET THEM PLEASE EMAIL ME , THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, MAY YOU HAVE A JOYFUL AND BLESSED DAY. A SISTER IN CHRIST, LINDA.



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LINDA

posted April 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm


I DIDENT SEND MY EMAIL ADDRESS, LOL, LOL, I FORGOT, GUESS OLD AGE IS CATCHING UP WITH ME, LOL, LOL, EMAIL ADDRESS IS MOMALIN322@AOL.COM. THANK YOU FOR LOOKING OVER MY MISTAKE, A SISTER IN CHRIST, LINDA



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rose

posted April 29, 2011 at 9:47 am


I KNOW I KNOW IKNOW, I KNOW WHAT I NEED TO DO. THROUGH MY LIFE I HAVE HAD TO MANY PEOPLE PUSH ME AND PUSH ME, AND I NEVER SAID ANYTHING. I JUST THOUGHT ,IN A LITTLE WHILE THINGS WOULD BE OK ONCE THEY GOT UNMAD. ONLY THING I NEVER KNEW WHAT THEY WERE MAD ABOUT I JUST FIGURED IT WAS ME. SO FOR EVER I JUST
KEPT MY MOUTH SHUT AN WAITED. I CAN’T DO THAT ANYMORE, BUT WHEN I SAY SOMETHING TO MY COWORKER EVERY ONE GET MAD. I FEEL LIKE I AM SUPPOSE TO JUST LET THINGS GO BECAUSE SHE IS DEAF. SHES 50 SOMETHING AND KNOWS HOW TO USE HER HANDY CAP TO HER ADVANTAGE. SHE KNOWS HER JOB SHES BEEN DOING IT FOR OVER 11 YEARS. MY HEART IS HARD AND I DON’T LIKE HOW I FEEL INSIDE AND I KNOW MY GOD DOESN’T EITHER. THERES NO EXCUSE FOR ME. I SHOULD BE A BETTER PERSON. BUT I DON’T WANT TO PLAY GAMES WITH MY FEELINGS I HAVE DONE THE OLIVE BRANCH THING, BUT I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES IT SHES PRETTY SURE I SHOULD. I’M DONE PLEASR HELP

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..



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Zimbolest Owens

posted May 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm


In past time Noua used a dove to find out if there was dry land the olive lef is what the dove brought back to show the water was going down.When i think of that it mativats me to take control of what im doing and were im going GOD help us all



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Zimbolest Owens

posted May 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm


I agree



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Steve Robinson

posted June 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm


My parents were very young and unmarried when i was concieved and they
treated me as though i was a mistake / nussiance. This behavior has
filtered down to me. I don’t want kids for this reason b/c as
much as i am very diffrent from my parents, i don’t want to subject
any child to the upbriging that i had. My wife cant have children
yet she loves them. So on the outside this looks ideal. But i am
having a hard time on Mother’s Days and Father’s Days because there
isnt and never has been any bond between me and my parents.
Please any advise on another perspective would be helpful.

Thanx
Somewhat Confused



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Matty

posted December 19, 2011 at 10:40 am


I would actually contend that being ignored is worse than being rejected. Because your olive branch being ignored means… what, exactly? They are still mulling it over? They are saying “no thanks” by saying nothing? What is an acceptable amount of time to expect a response to your olive branch? (Being in limbo is horrible.) At least with a rejection you know where you stand.



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