I came across a book this past summer titled “Live to Forgive,” written by Jason Romano.
Like any good book, the title intrigued me and caught my attention. Forgiveness — what an interesting word. The words “I forgive you” can come out of our mouths so easily, but what about our hearts? In life, we are wronged, mistreated, misunderstood, and abused every single day. Jesus lived His time on earth having all of these same problems. Yet, while He hung on the Cross, one of His last requests to God, “Father, FORGIVE them, for they know not what they are doing,” Luke 23:34.
As Christians, Christ gave us the greatest example of forgiveness — dying on the cross. Because of our sins, we were the ones that deserved to hang on the cross, but Jesus took our place! He forgave each and every one of us.
One quote from the book that stood out to me, “I’ve accepted that I will always be on the journey of forgiving again and again for the direct and indirect ways I’ve been hurt and will be hurt.” What an amazing thought! As a husband, father, son, friend, educator, coach, and colleague; life is not easy and there will be times where I will need to ask for forgiveness as well as accept forgiveness.
Working with teenagers, I see the pain and hurt they experience at such a young age. Pressure to succeed, troubles at home, issues with friends, parents divorced, death of a loved one, rumors from peers, and many more. These young adults hold onto that hurt and you can just see it build and grow inside. Trying to help them see how powerful forgiveness is can be a challenge. What if as a community we were able to model this for our youth? As friends, neighbors, teachers, administration, parents, and grandparents: demonstrating the lifestyle of forgiveness every single day. Turning to God when we are weak and hurt, and then choosing to praise and glorify God in all circumstances.
So, let's put aside the revenge, mean names, backstabbing, and hurtful actions. Let’s focus on living out these words from the Apostle Paul, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, FORGIVING each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Dean of Student Success