An evangelistic video tells of a true story about the power of forgiveness. It happened in Taiwan. A reckless man brought a tank of flammable liquid and set fire to a club house killing sixteen persons. He was caught red-handed. Surprisingly, one of the victim's sisters wrote a letter to the criminal expressing her forgiveness to what he had done. She was a devoted Christian. The criminal was deeply moved. They exchanged letters.
Later, the criminal was converted. He shared God's love to other criminals in the same jail. Before his execution, he sang the hymns hand in hand with this sister and her husband before others, and witnessed that he had real peace to face his death. Amazing! A big wretch in people's eyes turned into a sinless saint! What great power forgiveness has!
Jesus once talked about a parable on forgiveness: A master waived the great debt of his servant because he had no money to repay. But this servant met another man who owed him just a little sum. He chased this man and put him into jail.
"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. Jesus said, "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (Matt. 18:32-35)
The Bible has numerous teachings on forgiveness:
Do not say, "I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did." (Prov. 24:29)
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matt. 6:14-15).
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you"
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil" (Rom. 12:17).
"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice" (Prov. 24:17).
To forgive someone who hurt us before is not easy. To give them our best is even harder. But remember always that we have been forgiven a great debt - should we not forgive those who owe us just a few peanuts? Hate sins, not the sinners.
Fong Shun Wor
- S W Fong is a reader from Hong Kong.