Many people live with unforgiveness in the world. And here is a really important thing to think about… it causes health problems, it destroys relationships and it destroys people who don’t forgive.
Someone has described unforgiveness as drinking poison and hoping it hurts the person who has hurt you.
To forgive someone else actually helps you. It’s the antidote to the poison that has been ruining your life. Many people have been completely set free, even physically healed after they chose to forgive someone, to let go of the past and determine to move forwards without being tied back or held down by their past hurts.
Is it hard? Yes. Is it possible? Yes. Is it helpful? Yes!
Amber Guyger and Brandt Jean
In 2018 a police officer called Amber Guyger in Dallas shot dead a man called Botham Jean in his own home. She had mistakenly entered his home thinking it was her own apartment and shot Botham Jean dead. In court in October 2019, she was given a 10 year sentence.
But in Court, the brother of Botham Jean, called Brandt Jean made a speech to Amber Guyger. Instead of hating her, he did something that the Judge said he had never seen in Court in his whole career. Brandt Jean told Amber that he forgave her, that he loved her, that he wanted the best for her. Then (with Amber Guyger in tears and also the Judge), Brandt asked and got permission to give Amber a hug, which he did for quite a while.
Direct Link to the video (ABC News, YouTube, accessed 7 June 2020) – https://youtu.be/NkoE_GQsbNA
As a Christian, I believe that in a way, we’re all a bit like Amber. We all mess up and do wrong. But the great news is that Jesus said ‘look, you deserve to go to prison, but I’m going to serve that time for you.’ Jesus took that punishment so that we could be forgiven. Brandt Jean was acting like a true Christian when he forgave Amber Guyger. And he’s not the only one. There are thousands of examples of people (often Christians) forgiving others and just look at the healing it can bring
Even if you don’t believe in God, you can make a difference in your life and other people’s lives by forgiving someone and then keeping on forgiving. Go on. Do yourself and others a favour. I also believe that God will help you to forgive, if you ask him – just say ‘God, help me to forgive…’ and then name the person. Try it, you’ve got nothing to lose and maybe lots to gain!