"The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest." – Unknown
Recently, I read a story about forgiveness and this sentence caught my attention, “The path of forgiveness can take ordinary people on an extraordinary journey.” It makes you think, doesn’t it? How many times have you had to ask forgiveness of your husband or wife? Have you ever had to ask your children and or your parents to forgive you? What about a close friend who you have offended in some way?
Have you ever found yourself in a place of prayer asking your Heavenly Father for forgiveness? What is the hardest thing you ever had to ask forgiveness for? I love the writings of C.S. Lewis, who had this to say about forgiveness, "To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you."
My friend Pat Vandenberg tells one of the greatest stories of forgiveness I have ever heard. When he was young he got into some trouble and a young girl was killed as a result of an accident. Pat tells about a man who became his Pen Pal, while he was in custody for the bad choices he had made. The man wrote to him and shared his faith, which became the path to Pat’s conversion to Christ.
As a result the man became his lifetime friend and even came to the hearing for an early release for the charges against him. He had never met him until that moment at the hearing. The man stood up and became a witness for him at the parole board. Pat did not know what connection they had other than that he was his Pen Pal. The man was the father of the girl who had died in the accident. Pat and his wife Tricia are two of the finest Christians I have ever met, but without forgiveness this story could have never been told. They know, “The path of forgiveness can take ordinary people on an extraordinary jour- ney.”
I believe in you!
Pastors Cleddie and GayNell