These words from Martin Luther King Jr. are still needed today, and they are our calling as followers of Jesus.
"I'm concerned about a better world. I'm concerned about justice; I'm concerned about brotherhood; I'm concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that."
One of the Christian's most powerful weapons in life is the act of forgiveness. As human beings we are conditioned to seek justice or fairness, but so often in situations of loss, where we have been hurt or wronged by another, such fairness is elusive. Besides, our quest for retribution or even revenge becomes a cancer in our own souls. Nelson Mandela once said, Bitterness is the poison we drink hoping our enemy will die."
Jesus taught us to forgive, knowing very well its cost. He did so because he knew that it has tremendous healing power to arrest the cancer of anger and bitterness. He knew it was the way to defeat the enemy of our souls. He lived and died what he taught. He lives on to show how the Story ends. Forgiveness opens your heart to a new horizon. Like anything, we choose to live it by faith.
The following is from the pen of Johann Christoph Arnold:
"Indeed, far from leaving us weak and vulnerable, forgiveness
is empowering, both to the person who grants it and
the one who receives it. In bringing relief to the most difficult
situations, it allows us to lay aside the riddles of
retribution and human fairness, and to experience peace of
heart. Finally, it sets into motion a positive chain reaction
that passes on the fruits of our forgiveness to others."
Pastor Ward Parkinson