I think I often learn as much or more from the studies we are going through with some of our new Christians. As we work through the steps of freedom from sin, I’ve been struck by what it really means to forgive. I can forgive the driver of a car for pulling out in front of me, or my kids for leaving out their shoes, but what about when the stakes run a whole lot higher? It’s something I’ve been pondering all week.
I mentioned a few weeks ago how one of our new Christians was beaten severely while crossing the boarder into Zimbabwe. The issue of forgiveness became real to him--and all of us--as we discussed the importance of choosing to forgive. He asked me what he should do if he ever encountered these men again. The study we were going through was correct when it said that forgiveness was most likely the most difficult step.
We live in a world full of pain, violence, and hatred. Almost everyone I know here in South Africa has been affected by crime. One close friend of ours lost his father when he was shot and killed for his cell phone. Later his uncle was murdered in his home for barely more than $100. Stories like these happen far more often than anyone wants to admit.
And yet Christ calls us to forgiveness.
Lord, teach us to forgive the way you’ve forgave us.