Forgiving Others Who Do Wrong

Posted: March 31, 2012 by Ricky Keeler in NBA

(Photo Credit: UPI/NY Post)

Throughout the course of the Linsanity stage in New York City, one story exemplified how the whole backstory of Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin was seen in New York City. Over a month ago, after New York’s loss to the New Orleans Hornets, ESPN.com posted an article that got the whole nation stirred up.

The writer’s name was Anthony Federico. The editor posted “Chink In The Armor” to refer to New York’s loss and was later suspended by ESPN. Federico apologized after the comment and said he had no racial intention in mind. Federico was later re-hired by ESPN. You would think Lin and his family would be furious after that. Well, if that was your mindset, then you are sadly mistaken.

I was reading an article on Yahoo Sports this week and found something very amazing. Lin took time out of his busy schedule with the Knicks and emailed him asking to have lunch with him. Below is the excerpt from the article that Federico gave about the get together:

“The fact that he reached out to me,” Federico said. “The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule … He’s just a wonderful, humble person. He didn’t have to do that, especially after everything had kind of died down for the most part.

“We talked more about matters of faith [and] reconciliation. We talked about our shared Christian values and what we’re both trying do with this situation . We didn’t talk about the headline for more than three minutes.”

Sometimes, it is not easy for us to forgive other people. We may feel totally offended about what someone says about us or hold a grudge over being bullied, harassed, etc. Revenge could be on an individual’s mindset when that happens. However, as Christians, we need to take a look at what our Lord and Savior would do in this situation.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus shows us this scenario. He tells one of His famous parables to His disciple Peter. In this passage, the Lord wants us to settle disputes with our brothers and sisters and not to hold grudges. Take a look at the passage:

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. (Matthew 18:21-23)

Today, I exhort you to follow the example of our Lord, who even while on the cross, asked God to forgive the people who crucified Him because they had no idea they were actually fulfilling the plan for our SALVATION! (Luke 23). I know, personally, it is tough for me to forgive others who do wrong to me because my feelings can be severely hurt. But, that is where prayer and the strength from the Holy Spirit can lead us into saying these three simple words:  “I Forgive You”

It is so hard for us to do sometimes, but, for me, it is so awe-inspiring to imagine how easy it is for the Lord to forgive our constant wrongdoings.  Sometimes, we have to make that sacrifice just as Jesus did for us when He sacrified His life on the cross. Jesus paid that penalty so that you and I can come to the cross in faith and have mercy freely given to us by the Father!

Even when we violate simple commandments the Lord has given us, God is right there ready for us to turn to Him and welcome us back home. So, why can’t we be like that and welcome our brothers and sisters back into our life?

The Apostle Paul gives us that exhortation in his epistle to the people of Colosse:

“And, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)

In fact, one of the more important evidences of salvation is forgiveness. When we recite the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He tells them “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”(Matthew 6:15). It is a difficult task sometimes, but I also exhort you to make that sacrifice and forgive others who have treated you wrong. Show them the way to salvation and help them to walk in the ways of the Lord rather than hold a grudge against them!

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