Recently in a local Plain People community ( Anabaptist/Amish/Mennonite ) a tragedy took place.
As a family was taking a load of corn in their wagon to be milled, they were hit by a drunk driver. The father and his young daughter, 13 years old, were in the wagon. The young daughter was killed in the accident.
She was their only child.
The police arrested the driver and placed him in jail. The authorities contacted the parents and the elders of this Mennonite community about legal proceedings.
The couple, in the Name of The Lord JESUS, refused to press charges. The elders and brothers and sisters backed them and all were in agreement.
The authorities were astounded! They had never seen anything like this.
They have asked this Christian community to come to the county jail and preach the Gospel message of Salvation in CHRIST to the inmates which is about 60 or so at this time.
The drunk driver remains in custody in that very jail and must listen to the Salvation message along with the rest of the inmates.
Although the parents have forgiven the man totally, it may be that the authorities will press charges against him. But as far as the parents are concerned, for their part he is forgiven.
NOW, THE DRUNK DRIVER has a decision to make, a decision to make between him and The LORD. All interference from OTHER humans has been taken out of the way.
To FORGIVE is INDEED a HARD thing to do and can ONLY be done in The Power of The HOLY SPIRIT, through JESUS CHRIST.
This couple returned good for evil and loved their neighbor as themselves. They know they will see their little daughter again.
How could they FORGIVE ? Many church-going Christians would press charges as “justification” for losing the life of their child. They would think it their duty to “teach” the drunk driver and ALL POTENTIAL drunk drivers that consequences follow breaking the law.
Like the parents of the slain children in the Nickel Mines shooting rampage in an Amish schoolhouse a few years ago, this couple — now child-less — DID forgive because they had been …
in their daily lives.
Not only that, they had been TRAINED FROM CHILDHOOD to forgive and not retaliate when wrong was done to them … or to their families … or to their church community.
How MANY OF US
train our children to forgive ?
In addition to their training, they WATCHED THE EXAMPLES set before them. Starting with the Elders and Ministers of the church down to the head of every household, walking towards others in FORGIVENESS was — and is — part of their Christian witness for JESUS in that church.
In short, they PRACTICE it.
They WORK at it.
They teach FORGIVENESS as a basic, foundational part of Christianity.
As a result, their WITNESS FOR CHRIST JESUS is received into some of the darkest, hardened hearts in the world.
How do we ourselves measure up
in the area of FORGIVENESS ?
Are we GLAD when something bad happens to someone who has hurt us ? Are we willing to extend to them mercy and grace … and release our revenge — in word, deed, or thought — unto The LORD ?
At the Nickel Mines tragedy, the grieving families REACHED OUT to the shocked and grieving family
of the shooter !
Let us search our hearts diligently. Are we ourselves walking in FORGIVENESS TOWARDS OTHERS?
Are we walking in the kind of FORGIVENESS that is found to be PLEASING UNTO The LORD ?
In the strength of the HOLY SPIRIT, we can.
The Peace of The LORD+ JESUS CHRIST be with you all…. all who walk in the FORGIVENESS that Our LORD JESUS CHRIST has granted unto you.
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