Greetings at home
The Forgiveness Declaration unifies any team or group that says it together. It is like the shout that a sports team gives when they put their hands all together before they go out to start the game. You may also want to use the Forgiveness Prayer with the Declaration.
Part of the feeling of unity comes from knowing what to say. When the coach or team leader says the first half of the Declaration, an outsider would not know how to finish it, but the insiders all do. They belt it out.
Group members may also use it as a greeting whenever they see each other. It reminds them of the group, and that is an empowering thought.
Caution: Know your group. Don't use this method if the group considers this kind of leader-response to be childish or odd.
The Forgiveness Declaration and/or the Forgiveness Prayer heals relationships among family members and prevents new injuries if used as a daily greeting, as long as the members are all trying to SYNC with Christ.
The Declaration anchors each member and the family as a unit in something God did long before this day started. It may be used at the breakfast table or at the end of a family devotional time.
A parent may say it as a child is leaving for school or going out with friends. Or say the first half and let the child say the second half. Try it as an improvement on the basic, "Have fun," or "Be good."
You can also fall back on it in "panic button" situations in the family (see column 3).
Greet/chant as a team
Whenever you are injured or offended, think of the Forgiveness Declaration. Let it be your internal emergency response. It stabilizes you so you can process what happened and stay SYNCed with Christ.
You can also use the Declaration to help others. If you notice they are feeling bitter or vengeful about something, perhaps about ready to explode, you can agree that they were wronged but possibly encourage them by reminding them that we have a choice about our responses. The forgiveness option is always open to us, and the Declaration says that is the option we are going to take.
If the person is someone you know well, perhaps a family member who is using the Declaration daily with you, you might just quote the first half, "This is a Day of Atonement," and giving them an opportunity to finish it. It's a spur of the moment reminder of what they are daily reminding themselves of.
Besides outright panic situations, there are situations where a gossiper is indirectly retaliating against someone by making sure you know the terrible thing he or she did. Depending on the situation, you may steer the gossiper toward forgiveness by asking something like, "I'm sorry you got hurt so badly. Do you want it to stop hurting?" Then explain that it won't stop hurting till the victim forgives, which is possible because Christ has forgiven us.
Other more direct questions may be, "Do you plan to forgive that person?" or, "Under what circumstances would you forgive that person?" or, "How hard was it to forgive that person for something that awful?" It depends on your relationship with the gossiper.
One of the easiest SYNC exercises is to build the Forgiveness Declaration and/or the Forgiveness Prayer into certain points in your day to keep them on the tip of your tongue. Then you have them where you need them when something ugly pops up, perhaps a new wrong or a reminder of an old one.
Plenty of things will tend to knock you out of SYNC with Christ each day. Using the Declaration and Prayer to re-SYNC us with the meaning of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. He died in agony on the cross so forgiveness would flow freely. How could we then withhold forgiveness? We would be going against what Jesus intended when he gave his life! It is unthinkable.
If we focus on what was done to us, we may feel it was so terrible that we cannot forgive it. But if we focus on what Christ did for us, we feel we cannot help forgiving others.