Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story that has been widely covered this week for the true Christian value that it holds. It is not often the world sees a bold reflection of Christ-like love displayed in the media, but this week provided it in a situation that otherwise should have been completely tragic. Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, was convicted this week of killing Botham Jean when she mistakenly entered his apartment instead of her own. After she was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison, Botham’s brother Brandt took the stand to share his feelings. Brandt, who no one would judge for being angry and hateful towards Guyger, was the complete opposite. He said he loved her and wanted the best for her. He then defined what “the best” was: giving her life to Christ. He then asked the Judge for permission to hug her. Their embrace was palpable, as everyone could see how truly Brandt felt his words. He said to her, “I love you as a person. I don’t wish anything bad on you.” The Judge was so moved by this that she hugged Guyger as well and gave her a personal copy of the Bible. The outward display of love, forgiveness, and grace was astounding.
We all carry wounds that have been inflicted upon us in life by other people. Forgiveness does not come naturally to any of us. That is why Jesus came to show us how it is done and command all those who would follow him to do the same. However, forgiveness does not depend on considering someone not responsible for their sins against us; it is trusting God to hold them responsible rather than ourselves and loving them regardless. This world would be immeasurably better if we all extended a hand of forgiveness instead of a fist for vengeance. The Bible tells us, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Today, if you are holding a fist of vengeance against someone, unclench it and forgive them as Christ has forgiven you.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13 NIV