On Sunday night I watched “Amish Grace” and cried my way through it —tissues are a must have for this film. For those unfamiliar with the film, it depicts the true story of the 2007 Nickel Mine shootings in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where 10 Amish school girls are shot, killing 5 of them. The film does fictionalise some parts and characters, however the true message is not lost — one of forgiveness. In the case of the Nickel Mine shootings, the Amish community forgave the man who killed their daughters and rallied around the wife of the shooter to provide her with comfort and support.
The message is clear, hatred and angry (on a large or small scale) only eats away at us, in the end destroying us — no matter what happens, we should always forgive and trust fully in the Lord to provide all the strength that we need in giving that forgiveness. I can't help but think, when watching this film, of the following question: "what would I do in that same situation"? I could never imagine how hard it would be when losing a child in such hideous fashion, to forgive the perpetrator so quickly.
However it doesn't take long in searching the scriptures to find the verses that tell me to do just that — forgive our enemies, including praying for them despite how they treat you. Incredible strength would be required, however the Lord knows this and provides.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:55-45
But love ye your enemies, and do good , and lend , hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Luke 6:35-37
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against even any: as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Colossians 3:13
I certainly struggle to forgive small things at times, but as the scriptures are my instructions in life, this is something I need to work on. Because, perhaps one day, I may have to forgive someone for something much much bigger.
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