Learning to forgive
March 15, 2019
Forgiveness is a tough concept to teach and understand.
Listen to the beautiful way this young man from South Africa describes it.
“When I was 14 my father divorced my mother. Eventually it was clear he also was divorcing me and my younger two siblings. We never saw him, he never called. Then the following year two men came to our house to give us notice that we needed to pack our things and leave our house because my father had sold it. We cried because we had no place to go.
“For a while I still hoped my father would return. But soon my hope turned to hate. I wanted to see him dead. My hatred consumed me and even my mother began to speak to me about forgiving my father and moving on with my life. I just wouldn’t listen. It didn’t make sense. How could I release him of this responsibility? How could I leave behind the many ways he treated us so badly? In my hate, I thought I was being noble and protective of my mom.
“A few years later when I attended a university, a friend invited me to listen to your program with him. The pastor was talking about forgiveness and the crucifixion of Jesus. Never in my life had I heard of such selflessness. As he continued to speak about ‘the impact of the cross,’ tears streamed down my face. My friend was confused, he had no idea what was happening.
“After the program ended I realized I needed to forgive my father, just as God forgave me. Thank you for teaching me what it is to live a life without hate. The burden I carry is light and my life is now joy-filled because you have taught me what it means to live in Christ.”
Are you carrying a burden today? As we pray, let’s remember all those who need God’s forgiveness and all those who need to forgive others. Let’s find our rest in the One whose yoke is easy and burden is light.
Our worldwide prayer journey continues next week in Western Europe. See you there!