The Power of Forgiveness

If you were at the Mens’ Breakfast earlier this year, then you heard Scott Meyers say that one of the key events that changed his thinking about Christianity and eventually led him to becoming a Christian was the way that the Amish community in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania forgave the family of the man who killed five girls (6-13) before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.

There is something powerful in forgiveness that touches the human soul. Most of us have a difficult time forgiving others for relatively small wrongs so it is amazing to watch forgiveness play out when it involves something as serious as the loss of life. When people watch Christians forgive, they ask themselves questions like, “Could I forgive someone who did that to me?” or “Where do they get the ability and power to forgive like that?”

You probably heard that pastor Fred Winters was fatally shot while preaching during the first service of The First Baptist Church in Maryville, IL on March 8. What you may not be aware of is that his widow, Cindy Winters, was recently on the CBS morning show to discuss the event and explain that she and her kids have forgiven the killer and are even praying for him. The video is below and well worth watching.

Before you watch it, here are a couple of thoughts that I had after viewing it.

1. Is there anyone that I need to forgive or ask forgiveness from?

2. Is it right (and biblical) to forgive someone who hasn’t admitted wrongdoing or even asked for it? For that answer (along with a lot of other great information) I recommend that you read Chris Braun’s book Unpacking Forgiveness. You can get it online or at the church bookstore.

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