Would You Forgive Them?

Jen’s Gem:  There’s freedom in forgiveness.

Last weekend I watched the Oscars. I had only seen two of the nominated movies, so I was pretty clueless regarding a majority of the awards. Yet what draws me to watch the show are not the awards. In fact I typically mute the acceptance speeches as they are  – in a word – cringy.

I do enjoy the beautiful gowns, hearing the songs from the movies being performed, and of course seeing my movie star crushes.  I also look forward to the opening monologue as it always brings a giggle or two.

However, this year I was not giggling. With far too many references to last year’s ‘slap heard around the world’ and the incessant condemnation of Mr. Smith, I found myself hitting mute…a lot.

I do not in any way, shape, or form condone the actions of Will Smith. What he did was wrong. Plain and simple. But here’s what I know…hurting people hurt people.

Clearly this is a broken man. I suspect he has done a lot of soul searching and I pray he is given the strength to move on.

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

Let’s face it. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God every day (Romans 3:23), yet through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, we can ask for forgiveness and know that we are forgiven. God doesn’t hold a grudge. In fact, the Bible tells us in Psalm 103:1 that He forgets them as “far as the east is from the west.”

God does not remind us of our sins 24/7. He does not throw them up in our faces in front of the whole world to shame us. Do you know what the very first words of Jesus were when He was on the cross? He looked out among the crowd of people and said:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34 NKJV)

Can you imagine? There He was, nails driven through His hands and feet, a crown of thorns jammed into His head, gashes and bruises all over His body from the multiple beatings and He forgives everyone! We struggle to forgive a slap, yet Jesus forgave those who killed Him!

He forgave those who mocked Him, who called Him a drunkard, a blasphemer, a fraud. He

 forgave those who denied even knowing Him (Peter) and who betrayed Him (Judas). Why? One reason and one reason only.

Love. “Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

No matter what we do or say, if we ask God for forgiveness, He will forgive us. 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

This was the sole purpose of Jesus coming to earth. He wasn’t bored in heaven. He wasn’t looking for a thrill on a Saturday night. He came to earth to right a wrong. To make a way to heaven for us. You see, our sin separates us from God. Jesus fixed that with His death and resurrection.

He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to God without Jesus. (John 14:6) It’s all about Him.

I will pray for Mr. Smith and Mr. Rock that they will experience the love and forgiveness that God has to offer both of them. I pray the two of them will reconcile and that their lives be transformed.

Now that will be something worth watching.

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