With or Without

by Rev. Dr. Henry Vernon
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

Recommended Reading
Luke 23:34

When Caleb Donnelly deployed with the Marines to Iraq, his wife Grace gave him an expensive love bracelet to wear. After his return, their home was burglarized and the bracelet, along with other jewelry, was stolen and never recovered. When the thieves were caught, the judge sentenced them to make restitution to the couple, but the couple declined the money.

Instead, Grace wrote a letter of forgiveness to them, saying, "I have already forgiven you with or without an apology. . . .I will be praying for you." A lawyer involved said he had never met anyone as forgiving and truly Christian as Grace.1

When it comes to forgiving those who have harmed us, Jesus is the extreme example: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34) A few weeks later, the first Christian martyr, Stephen, prayed the same prayer concerning those who stoned him. (Acts 7:60) Ephesians 4:32 is the principle: "forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."

If there is someone you need to forgive, do so today—with or without an apology.

Nothing causes us to so nearly resemble God as the forgiveness of injuries.
John Chrysostom

1 Portsia Smith, "Letter of forgiveness," February 21, 2013. <news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2013/02/21/letter-of-forgiveness-moves-caroline-court (accessed 3-8-2013)

Isaiah 9-11

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Keep Believing,
Dr. "V"
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