If you can’t forgive, you can’t love. There is no greater act of love than forgiveness. I mean, look at Jesus. He hung on the cross. He was dying. And as He died, He told His Father, “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” Even though it’s so hard to do, there’s nothing more freeing than forgiveness.
Look at the man that forgave the Green River killer. All these families were just wearing the killer out, hating on him, and the killer showed no emotion. Then that one guy stood up. And he was so different from everyone else. He actually had life to him. His daughter was murdered! But he understood forgiveness.
I’m not saying forgiving is easy. Not at all! I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have someone take my child. I don’t even want to think about it. But I’ll tell you what. This guy had so much freedom when he was talking. He was not angry and he was not bitter. He had forgiven. He said, “I forgave you ten years ago.”
I could not believe it. My mouth really dropped. I was actually agreeing with the families that were hating on this guy. I know I would want to go knock that guy out. But those aren’t good feelings. I could see a lot of things coming, a lot of hate, until I saw how that one man handled it. To see what he did to that killer’s soul, man, it wrecked that guy. It broke him. And it was just by saying, “I forgive you.”
The Green River killer knows how bad he is. He knows how evil he is. He probably lives his life knowing how evil he is, and he can’t even forgive himself. That’s probably why all those angry families had no effect on him. He’s thinking, “If you hate me, fine, I hate myself. You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know.”
But then a guy goes up there and says, “I forgive you. And I hope my God shows you your forgiveness. And I hope you find out how much my God loves you.” And the tears just flowed from a killer.
I’ll never forget the way that those words changed him. He was hard. His whole countenance said, “I don’t care about you or your life. Obviously I wouldn’t do what I did if I cared.” And then he heard those words and literally he just broke down. He started crying. Someone finally looked at him and pierced his soul, and he felt what forgiveness is like.
Forgiveness is so powerful. I’ll tell you more about it next time. See you Tuesday.