Thursday, October 3, 2019


Yesterday, we witnessed one of the greatest acts of forgiveness in recent history, from the heart of an eighteen year old.

After the sentencing of Amber Guyger, Botham Jean's brother Brandt asked to make a victim impact statement.  Brandt used his statement to forgive Guyger, to plead her to go to God, to say he loves her as any person, and to ask to give her a hug.

In the midst of tragedy, in the midst of the horror, there God is.  For that kind of forgiveness does not come from man.  Our human frailties may lead us to error, but the ability to forgive it is divine.  It is the highest form of our faith.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Ephesians 4:31-32

We forgive because we are forgiven.  We forgive only because he enables us to do so.  I cannot imagine being in that position.  I would like to believe that I would be able to rise to that level.  But I know, I would likely be consumed with vengeance.  I think I would want to be sitting at that prosecution table, looking to pile on the charges with what evidence I could dig up.

But that eighteen year old spoke with wisdom beyond his years.  He acted with more faith than most people that have sit in pews all their lives.

And the impact of his actions reached far beyond what he could have even anticipated.

Following Jean's hug, Judge Tammy Kemp stepped off her bench and walked over to Guyger at the defense table.

"You understand?" she asked.

The judge then went back to her bench and grabbed her bible.

You can have mine. I have three or four at home. This is your job.” The judge opened the Bible and began to discuss John 3:16, indicating that this would strengthen Guyger. “You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith. You start with this.

Guyger then embraced the judge, who hugged her back. Guyger whispered something to the judge.

Ma’am,” the judge replied, “it’s not because I’m good. It’s because I believe in Christ. You haven’t done so much that you can’t be forgiven. You did something bad at one moment in time. What you do now matters.

There's a lot of people that need to hear that.  There's a lot of people that need to know, that need to believe that they have not done so much that they cannot be forgiven.

Forgiveness is out there.  Mercy, grace, and love are out there.

It starts with us.  It starts with us being able to step out in faith and in forgiveness.  To forgive as we have been forgiven.

To love as He loved us.

It's what we've commanded to do.

Can you imagine what the world would look like if we did?  That's the world I want to live in.

"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Matthew 6:14-15

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