Just As God Forgave You
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” ~Ephesians 4:32
Two years I ago, I wrote about a C.S. Lewis quote, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you”. It keeps coming back to me and I feel nudged to repeat the post:
Many years ago, I watched a video of a live court scene. A mother's son had been killed by a drunk driver who was being sentenced. The judge asked the mother if she had any words to say to the defendant. She stood up, took a body-shaking breath, gulped back tears and said, "I want to scream hateful words at you. I want pound the table and wail and wish you to hell." She paused and the defendant blinked tear-filled eyes. She continued, her voice softer and trembling. The whole court learned forward to hear, "But I can't. I have to forgive you." The court gasped and the judge asked, "Why do you say that?" and the mother slowly said to the defendant, "Because when I stood up, I saw Jesus standing behind you with His hand on your shoulder. He has forgiven you. I have to as well."
We are familiar with the words of Jesus as He hung on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing". But I don't think they became real to me until I saw this video. It has stuck with me and continues to have an impact when I am tempted to rage at a wrong or to hold a soul-damaging grudge. And what stood out most was the defendant didn't ask to be forgiven. The murderers of the Son of God did not ask for forgiveness. But God freely gave it.
Forgiveness...we cannot do it alone. But we CAN when God prompts us to do so. And He will every time. Reconciliation is what He is all about!
Have a blessed day!
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