The following is a true story: Chris Williams woke up in a daze from a severe car accident. Chris was still in the driver seat struggling to understand what had happened. Glancing in the back he saw his two kids covered in blood. In the passenger seat his pregnant wife was giving her last breaths. The pain kept him from getting out of his seat. His only thought was, “whoever has done this to us, I forgive them. I don’t care what the circumstances were, I forgive them.
Not far from the scene of the accident, the police found the drunk driver responsible, a 17 year old boy. Even after Chris learned about the drunk driving, Chris still forgave the boy. Below is a picture of Williams at the funeral of his wife and kids.
His decision to forgive was not related to justice. Williams was always training himself to forgive. When his three year old son died from toxic shock symdrome, he prayed for appreciation and strength. Chris tells everyone to, ” forgive for your sake, not the other person’s.”
Chris is not saying to have a relationship with that person. Chris keeps his distance from the 17 year old boy. The boy went to jail. Justice still applied. Reconciliation can be important in some situations, but is not the same thing as forgiveness.
Sometimes justice does not happen the way we want. Temptations of revenge enter. Revenge is unforgiveness in action. Punishment or absolution from the legal system has nothing to do with your forgiveness. Let yourself be consumed with love and compassion. Let the legal system take care of the rest.
Question: Does the intensity of the hurt influence your forgiveness?
This true story was taken from an article on www.desertnews.com titled “a year of forgiveness.”