What does it mean to totally forgive and harbor no grudges or resentment?? Last night I was the fortunate winner of tickets to a
special showing of the movie "Amish Grace" shown at one of our local theaters. I had known of this horrible tragedy back in October 2006. We all know about the school shootings brought to light by the tragic Columbine High shootings in 1999 but this one was different. This involved a local man from the community who was mad at God for letting his baby girl die so he got back at God by shooting 10 Amish girls, 5 of which died. He himself was not Amish but lived among them and drove a local milk truck.
The Amish keep themselves separated from the world but all of a sudden they were in the national limelight due to this horrific incident. The tremendous amount of love, grace, and forgiveness shown by the Amish community to the family of Charles Roberts, the shooter, who later committed suicide after the shootings,was unheard of and definitely not normal in our worldly secular society. The news media were astounded thinking maybe it was all some sort of act. But it was not. These people,even though hurting, went to Amy Roberts, the widow of the shooter and told them they forgave her husband and asked how she was doing. After all, she had lost her husband and her children had lost their dad. This whole thing was a total shock to her as well.
How many of us could do that? Probably not many. But it was not Amy's fault. She was hurting too. It was wrong what happened but harboring bitterness and resentment did nothing and certainly did not bring these young girls back to life. This was the true evidence of 100% forgiveness by a loving community of Amish who practiced what they taught and preached. The world we live in would send a lawyer to the scene to talk to the victims about suing. After all look what happened you deserve it. This does nothing but continue a hurtful unforgiving cycle. We all have lots to learn from the Amish and the way they showed love and moved on. They even came to the funeral of Mr. Roberts when hardly anyone else did.
Matthew 6:15 says "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." In Job 36:13 it says that the 'godless in heart harbor resentment'. Colossians 3:13 tells us to " Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." It does not say to call 1800GOLDBERG and get even. Ephesians 4:31 says "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. So the aim is to move on and to do what Christ would do and show love no matter what.
PRAYER: Father we pray we never have to go through anything like these families in Nickle Mines, Pennsylvania did but if something does ever happen that would make us want to get back and get even give us the grace to be like you and respond like you would respond, In Jesus Name, Amen.