Forgiveness

How well do you forgive?  Wow! What a question!  Forgiveness is the hardest thing in the world to do.  I struggle with it.  It is easier for me to hate than it is to forgive.  I think Peter struggled with it. It is why he asked Jesus, How many times do I have to forgive my brother who sins against me? 7?  Sounds like Peter had someone in mind!  Sounds like he was counting!!  My definition of forgiveness is when one forgives it is just like it never happened.  At least, that’s my understanding of God’s forgiveness toward me. When God forgives it is just like it never happened.

Can you forgive the drunk driver that killed your son?

Can you forgive the teenager who became pregnant?

Can you forgive the one who has been so unkind to you?

Can you forgive the one who said things that hurt you – deeply?

Can you forgive the _________________ – you fill in the blank…

Would God ask you to forgive something that you think you can’t forgive?

Do you remember the 2006 shooting of 10 Amish children, ages 6-13 in Pennsylvania?  A man with a wife and 3 children went to an Amish schoolhouse… put all the boys outside… locked the doors so the girls could not escape… and then shot and killed the girls before taking his own life.

What was the reaction of the Amish community?  That Amish community publicly forgave the killer.  More than that, they reached out to his widow and 3 children. After burying their own children, they attended the funeral of the killer who killed their children.  There were 75 in attendance – half were Amish.  The killer’s wife and children were greeted with hugs.  The Amish started a fund for the killer’s family.  Marie Roberts, the widow wrote: Your love for our family has helped to provide the healing we so desperately need.  Your compassion has reached beyond our family… beyond our community… and is changing our world.

Wow!  Lord, teach me to forgive and love in a way that changes the world.