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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Forgiveness Does Not Exonerate

There was a teacher's assistant who hurt many children - emotionally by bullying. Through the years I have heard many stories. The first red flag was when my eight year old played school and always mimicked her teachers. The beginning of this school year, when playing school, my daughter talked ugly to "her students". The second red flag was her writing in her journal how pretty the teachers hair was. When asked she said she tried to make her teacher happy. Her "Pa" had lunch with her one day and when he pretended to leave he witnessed what we had been told several times, the teacher "bumped" into her and then gave her a dirty look. After changing schools we could not ride by there we were so hurt, angry and bitter!


Don't hurt innocent children or the elderly and don't mess with my family! I could not forgive because this was unforgiveable. One day God let me know that He loves "her" as much as He loves me and she had done nothing worse than I have, in His eyes! This was not good news and I was mad! Until I really thought about it. Matthew 6: 14-15 is really a scary statement by Jesus. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." You know how I forgave her. "God, you know I don't approve of her behavior and I really don't like her but I will forgive because You forgive me and I need you to keep forgiving me." The deeper the hurt, the harder it is to forgive and this was my child!


When I became a Christian I agreed to obey God and that includes forgiving, it's not a choice. It doesn't even matter if she changes her ways, I am still expected to forgive. In the parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18: 33, the master said, "'Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’" Verse 35, "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart." Jesus knew we would need a parable about forgiveness! We can forgive because God pours His love into our heart through the Holy Spirit. When I forgave, I experienced the power and authority gleaned from God! I still do not care for that person but I am not her judge and I cannot let her sin poison me. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves!

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