Perhaps the most difficult thing we will ever have to do is to forgive someone that has committed a grievous wrong against us. Imagine the worst thing someone could do to you, then search your heart and see if you could forgive that person. This of course, is easier to do if the event has not happened. It becomes more difficult when someone attacks you physically. There is a young lady 22 year old Melissa Dohme, who confronted her attacker in the courtroom Monday afternoon and explained how it felt as he stabbed her.
She recounted the terror she experienced as he stabbed her 32 times as she pleaded with him to stop. She spoke of how she screamed as best she could, and begged for mercy, as he continued to stab her. Two witnesses intervened and the attacker ran off, but the police arrested him while the woman was fighting for her life. A witness called the police, but by the time they arrived, the young woman was all but dead. Doctors reported she had lost almost all her blood and should have died. This young woman did not die, and there in the courtroom, in front of the TV cameras and the world, she looked at her attacker and forgave him.
“I offer forgiveness and I forgive him,” Dohme said Monday after the sentencing. “Forgiveness is a sign of letting go and when you forgive someone that hurts you, you take away their power.”
This is true forgiveness, he almost took her life and yet she forgave him. This is what Jesus told us to do, and yes, at times this is very difficult. He said that if we want God to forgive us, we must forgive others for what they have done to us.
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. NASB
It is doubtful that most of us will ever come as close to death as Melissa, but we face other times when we need to forgive. What about the person that cuts you off in traffic, or yells at you for no reason, or the person that says something about you or a loved one, or ridicules your lifestyle? What about the con artist that tries to swindle you out of your hard-earned income? There is also the co-worker that spreads false rumors and gets you fired, are you able to forgive then? We must for it is a part of the cost of being a disciple. To be a Christian requires only that we believe in our heart and confess Christ as Lord with our mouth; to be a disciple will cost us everything. Our pride, selfishness, anger, lifestyle, and yes, even our right to remain silent must be surrendered to Him; for if we are His disciples we must tell others about Him.
In Colossians 3:13 we are told to forgive others as the Lord forgave us. This is difficult to do for we are human and have human frailties. Perhaps it would help if remember the reward that is promised when we arrive at the throne of Jesus.