Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Let us learn to forgive

Published:Monday | November 23, 2020 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I am not a preacher, nor a minister; I am a teacher. It is the sharing of lessons I am concerned with and in this social crisis, there’s one very important one I’ve been taught that might be truly valuable to us all today.

It’s said that in the minutes before his short time in this world ended, a man called Jesus prayed to God to forgive those around him for taking his life and, as Christians believe, for the sins of the world, for all time.

The lesson here is that a choice was made and, like Jesus, when we are wronged we also have a choice. We can hate, seek revenge, and knowing no one ever benefits when the master’s whip strikes.

On the other hand, we can cower and retreat and condemn ourselves for a lack of character. A third alternative is that, like Jesus, we can forgive those who would persecute us, not with the sort of forgiveness given to make one’s own self feel better, but in the knowledge that through our example, we find a way to encourage those who’ve done us wrong to change their ways.

In my own life, I have been wronged to the point where I felt life no longer worth living, wronged to where I hated others for ruining the most important things in my life – my family and career – to the extent I was wasting my life, complaining to no one but myself.

One day, I realised again that there was still at least one story, one lesson I could be thankful for every day, not just during the holidays. As I was taught as a child, in that one poor man’s simple example was a message that could lift my soul above the dark abyss of sadness and despair into the light of hope.

If one simple man, I thought, was brave enough to forgive the whole world as he died a horrible death, the least I could do was have the courage to forgive a few for being selfish and insensitive.

This is my lesson – forgiveness begins with each of us.

ED MCCOY