Who Do You Need to Forgive?
Our longest-standing grudges are usually from our earliest days. That’s just the way time works.
And Christmas is often when we revisit those people, those hurts, that past.
Who do you need to forgive this Christmas?
There are lots of gifts we can give each other. But none is as powerful as forgiveness.
As you think about baby Jesus coming down to forgive you, think about you coming over to forgive someone else.
A Modern Example of Forgiveness
The story of Anthony Ray Hinton is a true one. He was wrongly accused of murdering a man at a Mrs. Winner’s restaurant and one at a Captain D’s in 1985.
He was sentenced to death row in Alabama.
The problem? He was innocent. He murdered no one.
It took almost 30 years for Mr. Hinton to be released.
And then what?
He did the unthinkable.
If Mr. Hinton can forgive, can’t we?
Listen to him, and then think about it.
Anthony Ray Hinton Says . . .
“I forgive the State of Alabama for being a bully. You have to stand up to bullies. I forgive because not to forgive would only hurt me.
I forgive because that’s how my mother raised me.
I forgive because I have a God who forgives. . . .
We have to find ways to recover after bad things happen. We have to make every ending be a happy ending.
Every single one of us wants to matter. We want our lives and our stories and the choices we made or didn’t make to matter.
Death row taught me that it all matters.
How we live matters.
Do we choose love or do we choose hate? Do we help or do we harm?
Because there’s no way to know the exact second your life changes forever. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rearview mirror.
And trust me when I tell you that you never, ever see it coming.”
I read about Mr. Hinton in the newspaper on April 3, 2015, the day he was released.
Then I read Mr. Hinton’s full story in his own book, The Sun Does Shine. Phenomenally told; it was one of my favorite books of 2018. He is also featured in the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, a powerful place. I may never meet Mr. Hinton, but his life (and Bryan Stevenson’s) has profoundly affected mine.
Who do you need to forgive this Christmas? Whose forgiveness do you need to accept? Please share in the comments.
- 5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – December 2019
- Book Review of “Irrevocable”