If someone were to brutally murder whoever is closest to you, would you be able to forgive them? Would you be able to look past the cold bloodedness of a killer, who published his murder gleefully on Facebook, to see not a sinful man, but a man worthy of redemption who was caught up in sin?
For many, to contemplate such a gesture is unthinkable. The zeitgeist of the times is filled with people too quickly prone to outrage over the smallest of slights, real or perceived, or misspoken word.
Thanks to social media, safe spaces and political correctness, we have indelibly stamped each other as unforgiveable.
So, when the family of 74-year-old Robert Godwin, who was mercilessly gunned down on Facebook by Steve Stephens, publicly forgave the killer it leaves many of us astounded.
CNN reports that the survivors of Godwin have said they all forgive Stephens. Godwin’s daughter, Tonya Godwin-Baines told the public, “I just want him to know that God loves him. We love him. Yes, we’re hurt but we have to forgive him.”
The strength to find such forgiveness comes, Godwin-Baines said, from the demands of an omnipotently gracious God. “If we don’t forgive him, the Bible says your Heavenly Father won’t forgive you.”
We are not to judge each other, for that is the providence of an All Mighty Creator.
What the Godwin’s seem to know, and many of us fail to see, is that the worst sin possible is the closing of a heart to the needs of all of God’s children.
We would be wise to learn from them.