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“Forgive them Father; they know not what they do.”
– Jesus Christ, on the cross.

That’s a favourite quote of mine, used often by me to explain an important spiritual truth from the bible. I also use it when I talk about how we shouldn’t judge others.

How often do we make mistakes? How often do we make errors in judgement? How often do we do something we thought was right, only to learn later on that it was completely and absolutely wrong? How often do we hurt or kill someone else, thinking we are justified in our actions?

If you think that you don’t kill someone, you might have to think again, especially in America, which is still one of the few countries in the world to continue executing people. By supporting the death penalty, you are actively killing people. By also supporting war, you are actively killing people. You don’t need to be pulling the trigger to be involved in their death.

If you support these things, I forgive you. ‘Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.’

You believe you are doing the right thing. You believe the deaths of others is justified.

You don’t know the consequences of your actions.

Maybe, somewhere, someone thinks your death is justified. Maybe someone is actively planning to kill you, right now. They’re planning this because they think their actions are justified. They think that what they’re doing is a good thing, that the world would be better off without you, and that their lives would be much happier as a result.

If you knew without a doubt that someone was trying to kill you, wouldn’t you want to know why? Wouldn’t you want them not to, so you can continue with your life? You’ve got so many plans, wouldn’t it be a shame to have them all taken away from you right now? Wouldn’t you want them to forgive you for any wrongdoings they believe you have done?

In order to receive forgiveness, you must be forgiving. You can’t expect someone to ‘forgive and forget’ anything relating to you, if you’re unwilling to do the same to them. You must give to receive the same in return.

If you can ask for forgiveness, you will be forgiven. In order to receive forgiveness for your wrongdoings – perceived or real – you must be forgiving of others.

Can you forgive? Can you be forgiven?

The answers will determine your future.

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