Pope John Paul II was one of the most notable leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1981 the Pope made a trip to a prison to speak with the man who tried to assassinate him and tell him that he forgave him. In 1984 the Pope appeared on the cover of TIME with the would-be assassin, shaking hands with him while his other arm was around his shoulders. Underneath the photo were the words “WHY FORGIVE?” in bold letters.
Strangely, the Pope asked readers to “pray for my brother whom I have sincerely forgiven.” Some condemned the Pope. Others agreed with the Pope. Still others could not understand the reason the Pope did such a thing.
For most, forgiveness is not easy to do nor pleasant to think about. Some even enjoy the resentment and anger that grows within us if we have been wronged. Some speak of their anger as a sign of mental health. Yet…
Paul said…When we accept and understand God’s mercy and forgiveness He expects us to forgive others just as Jesus did to those who crucified Him. Furthermore, because God through the death of Christ has forgiven us, He literally expects us to forgive others as our Savior has forgiven us. We must follow His example.
Prayer: Lord, we pray for the willingness to forgive others who have wronged us even as our Savior willingly forgives us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.