Forgiveness Is … Letting The Little Fish Go

Forgiveness Is ... Letting The Little Fish Go

I think I must have been aged 6 or 7 when I caught my first fish. It was a sprat. I went on to catch other fish. When I can I love to go fishing and I no longer catch sprats but fish big enough for a meal.

In New Zealand we have some pretty strict rules about the size and quantity of fish you can catch. We want to protect our fishery and our future stocks of fish.

When you catch a fish and it is under the size limit then you need to let it go. Put it back in the water and allow it to swim off.

‘Let the little fish go’ is a phrase I heard a counsellor use referring to those little offences that happen to you.

Someone says something or does something that is hurtful. You’re offended and you take it on board, you fester and brood over. The ‘Little Fish’ slowly gains greater proportions to become a stuffed trophy hung on the wall.

You’re not like that of course are you?

Life is hard and it is so easy to catch little fish, take them on board and allow them to grow and dominate life. Our skill in catching them can become a habit. We become as sensitive as a snails eye. We lose friends, become bitter and a victim of the fish.

How do you let the ‘Little Fish’ go?

  1. Measure it. Is it worth the effort of holding on to it? If you hold on to this offense, then what might you be losing out on. Is it really that big? Ask others their opinion.
  2. Check your emotional response. What emotions are stirred up from the offence? Are there echoes being bounced of from past hurts? Is there actually an earlier fishy offence that you are still harbouring?
  3. Let it go. ‘I choose to not hold on to this offence. I am letting it go’. I place that offensive little fish into the hands of Christ. Do it as soon as possible. Why would I want to keep it and have it go smelly and attract flies?
  4. Make ‘Letting go’ a habit. Some little fish seem to be persistent in staying on board and you need to habitually repeat steps 1 -3 over and over again.

Perhaps as you learn the habit of Letting the Little Fish Go will become so familiar to you that when a Big Fish is landed, a large ugly offence, then you may find it easier to let that go.


A quote on muck to consider!
Rack the muck this way.
Rack the muck that way.
It will still be muck.
In the time you are brooding,
you could be on your way,
stringing pearls for the delight of heaven.
(Hasidic teaching)

Questions to consider and leave a comment.

  • Does it help to have a little phrase such as ‘Let the little fish go’ help?
  • What happens if we hold on to the ‘Little Fish’?
  • How do let the ‘Little Fish’ go?


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Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: notsogoodphotography via Compfight cc

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