Lessons Learned Through Forgiving the Man Who Murdered My Dad

Originally published Thursday, 02 January 2014.

The Gospel tells us about God. It tells us about our fallen nature. It tells us we serve a merciful and gracious God, who had every reason to simply write off humanity, but instead, choose to die on our behalf.

It speaks of redemption, that we have been redeemed and are being made new. And finally it speaks of restoration, that one day, all things will be made new, and we will live eternally in the presence of God.

All of creation proclaims God’s truths to humanity, but God, Himself, also speaks to each of us, through His Word and in many other subtle ways throughout our lives. Every time we come to Him, He honors us with His teaching. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:29, Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” All we must do is simply come to Him, as a child does to his parents, and we will be shown the way.

I have learned much from Jesus in my short time being a Christian. And I know I still have much to learn, but I want to pass along the truths that were given to me through my journey toward forgiveness.

Beginning today, I will be writing a series of smaller posts on each of the lessons I was taught. I’d love for you to join me as I explore (and in some cases, relearn) some very important truths.

As a sneak peek into what’s to come, I’ve included a list of what will be covered below. It is my hope that the grace that was so mercifully given to me will be passes along to you…

  1. In order to follow Jesus, we must know Jesus.
  2. God is bigger. God is bigger than your situation. God is bigger than the sins committed against you. God is bigger than your enemy. God is bigger than your sin. God is bigger than your resistance.
  3. God is in control. We can trust Him.
  4. When Jesus calls, follow.
  5. Sometimes the things God calls us to won’t make sense, but we still must follow.
  6. When we follow Jesus, He accomplishes the impossible.
  7. There will be difficulties along our path, and these difficulties or roadblocks don’t necessarily mean we’re on the wrong path. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not God’s will.
  8. We can’t allow fear motivate our decisions.
  9. We must be in complete reliance upon Jesus.
  10. We need to wait for the Lord before we take action.
  11. Jesus died for every sin including murder.
  12. We cannot stand in judgement of the sins of others.
  13. We are no better than a repentant murderer. Sin is sin.
  14. No sin is justifiable, but all sin is forgivable.
  15. We cannot compare ourselves to one another to accurately judge our sins or behavior.
  16. Greater understanding brings greater healing.
  17. Repentance can be a process.
  18. Though all sin is forgivable, consequences of sin remains.
  19. We must all guard our hearts and assure we aren’t cultivating an environment for sin to grow in our souls.
  20. Only God’s grace can allow us to forgive completely, unconditionally. We must seek God to forgive.
  21. Forgiveness requires us to humble ourselves. The proud never admit they may be wrong or their perspective may be askew. The humble seek to see as Jesus does even if that means they find fault in themselves.
  22. Forgiveness flows out of a changed heart – Part 1.
  23. Forgiveness flows out of a changed heart – Part 2. 
  24. Healing a broken heart requires that we allow God to being us back to our most broken places, into the darkness of our soul in order to see, truly see our situation as God does.
  25. Truth leads to transformation.
  26. We can do nothing apart from Christ.
  27. The Christian life is not one marked by passivity, but instead, it requires that we step out in faith, empowered by the spirit, to do whatever it is that Jesus lays on our hearts.
  28. Your faith requires action.
  29. Maintaining a victim mentality only harms victims further. Forgiveness frees us from this destructive way of thinking.
  30. Jesus, truly, brings sight to the blind.
  31. The written word is powerful.
  32. Sometimes God speaks loudly, other times He simply whispers.
  33. Jesus is with us. He goes before us.
  34. Going on a journey with Jesus is quite an adventure.
  35. God’s plan is far greater than ours.
  36. Sometimes God leads you into the fire.
  37. Sometimes you need to do it scared.
  38. The fruit of obedience is bountiful.
  39. No matter how hard it gets, if you know Jesus led you down this path, don’t give up!
  40. God works all things for good for those who know and love Him.
  41. We are blessed to be a blessing.