So, what happens if that person is never caught, or never confesses. What if justice is never served? What happens if he just doesn’t care about what he did to you and never asks for forgiveness? How do you deal with that? Do you harbor that anger inside of you and let it continue to grow and fester? Or, do you forgive that person, regardless?
My brother, Dan, is the guest blogger for today. He is sharing his personal experience with what happened to our dad earlier this week. It is a good reminder for all of us that forgiveness doesn’t happen by itself, and it doesn’t come easy. But, it is a choice we have to make if we want healing - no matter what the circumstances are around our hurt.
Here’s Dan. This was written the day after the incident....
Forgiveness…release from bondage!
By: Daniel McIntosh
Today I have been struggling with an issue of forgiveness. A man held my father at gunpoint last night, stole his wallet and vehicle after beating him and cocking the hammer of a gun. I rejoice for the protection the Lord gave my dad, but was angry at the man who did this. I want justice and desire restitution, and deep inside I was wounded at the very fact that this person did this to someone so close and dear to me. I have tossed and turned, only getting 2 hours of sleep at best… and over and over I heard a voice in my head saying “forgive him… forgive the man.”
“But I don’t want to” was my initial thought. “He deserves to be caught and brought to justice!”
Then I recall that, while in my own sins, in my own wickedness, in my filth and hatred, that Christ went to the cross and forgave MY sins.
“...We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Eph 1:7)
Who am I to be unforgiving? Am I any better than the One who made me, gave me life, and forgave my sins? NO!
Does it make everything “alright” or “ok” if I forgive? Does it remove what happened and the need for justice? No…… But it releases me from the bondage of hatred, the prison of bitterness, and the confinement of pity. Forgiveness allows me to move on in life…… allows God to deal justly with the offender and the offense…… it places my attitude in a right relationship with the Heavenly Father, allowing HIM to deal righteously with the situation and events.
Why should I be robbed of a glorious opportunity to fellowship with the God of all creation by holding onto a grudge of one who robbed my dad? Why should I let the actions of others dominate me when, instead, I should be controlled by the Spirit of God?
Eph 5:18 -
“...but be filled with the Spirit.” (kjv)
“Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.” (nlt)
Dan is husband to Julee and father of five children. He is currently serving in the United States Air Force, stationed in Florida.
Dan is the founder of Barnabas Ministries and ECHO (Encouragement Can Help Others).
Thanks for sharing, Dan!