Forgiveness is More Powerful Than Anger: On the Charleston Shooting

This morning, as I was reading through Facebook posts, I was jolted out of bed with one by Luvvie. She questioned why the Charleston shooting victims’ families would forgive the killer.

Sometimes, Christians can’t win for losing.

Let’s be honest, the folks who go to church on Wednesdays are probably some of the most dedicated Christians out there.

So the first thing you’d expect is for these families to respond with love and not anger.

Why would they do this?

1) Because they love God. God commands us to forgive anyone. In His eyes, all sins are on the same level. They are simply obeying what they’ve been taught. This isn’t brainwashing or some sort of media stunt to placate the white community. This forgiveness is real.

2) Because Jesus did the same thing. The “What Would Jesus Do” craze has faded, but the message remains the same. Jesus was angry, tired, went through extraordinary amounts of pain but while on the cross asked God to forgive them.

If you aren’t a Christian, this sort of behavior seems completely inexplicable. Why would you do this? How could you possibly forgive a monster? Because Christ forgave us.

People have suddenly equated kindness with fragility. And that’s simply not true.

3) Because these are strong people. So when black people respond in looting and violence when these horrible acts happen, we are criticized by the white community. So now, because they are perceived as being weak we are criticizing them for “appeasing to the whites?” How thoughtless and shameful. Simply because we can’t comprehend how they’ve been able to forgive doesn’t mean it it’s not possible or it isn’t right.

It’s the most righteous thing a believer could do.

Luvvie asked, “Being able to move past your loved one dying in 3 days to the point where you’re able to forgive the murderer is superhuman.”

That’s exactly right. It required far more than their own strength. It required the hand of God. They’re angry. Perhaps they want to see him get the death penalty. But they can still forgive.

Forgiveness is the ultimate weapon. The shooter wanted a race war. Instead, he got forgiveness and love. Therefore he has lost and we as a Christian community and a black community have won.


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