WHY AM I TOLD THAT FORGIVENESS IS A NECESSARY VIRTUE?

DYLANN ROOF –Unrepentant murderer of 9 innocent people. Could I forgive him if these were my own family members? Do I forgive him for his assault on mankind? I ask myself these questions because these people were indeed a part of my human family–and as a Christian, he took my sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus away from me.

Why can’t I hold the same kind of hatred and prejudice inside of me that Dylann Roof did within himself? The truth is that I can, and I can become yet another Roof disaster. The sad reality is that so many do. The fright is that more Dylann persons are still in the world. I am allowed to get angry, but why am I not permitted to remain angry and even vengeful?

–Because not to forgive is to make myself into a withering, complaining, hate mongering, vicious, vengeful, irritant, who’s body, mind and spirit remain systemically corrupted until the balm of forgiveness and release is applied.

–Because vengeance is a retribution that is labeled as an Uncontrollable Substance. It is like the gold ring in the Lord of the Rings–Only one can wield it and still be just in administering recompense. This is why Christians are told,

“Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.” —Romans 12:19

 

REVENGE IS THE OPPOSITE OF FORGIVENESS

Here is why Christians will forgive. The Christ within shall perform it so that His children act as He.

To execute revenge is to drown in the same waters the perpetrator drinks from. There is no justice in “An eye for eye and tooth for tooth.” Jesus Christ sermonizes the notion:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also; if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well; and if someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘Hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even Gentiles do the same?

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”Matthew 5:38-48

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“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:32

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‘I forgive you.’ Relatives of Charleston church shooting victims address Dylann Roof

Relatives of the nine victims killed in a shooting inside an AME church in Charleston, S.C., addressed the alleged shooter Dylann Roof during a bond hearing, many offering forgiveness to Roof. (Charleston County Government)

One by one, those who chose to speak at a bond hearing did not turn to anger. Instead, while he remained impassive, they offered him forgiveness and said they were praying for his soul, even as they described the pain of their losses.

“I forgive you,” Nadine Collier, the daughter of 70-year-old Ethel Lance, said at the hearing, her voice breaking with emotion. “You took something very precious from me. I will never talk to her again. I will never, ever hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.” —

June 19, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. EDT

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