“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”(Ephesians 4:32, NIV)
Andy lived in a small farming community in Idaho. When he was fifteen, he took a gun to school. He showed it off to his friends, who crowded around him at the lunch table.
While he was handling the gun, Andy accidentally discharged the weapon. Another student, seventeen-year-old Larry, was shot. Paramedics were called, and Larry was taken to a local hospital.
After several days, Larry woke up to the news that he was paralyzed. Overnight, his baseball scholarships had disappeared, and his girlfriend dumped him. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Andy.
“I know most people would think I hated him. But I didn’t. All I could think about was my younger brother. He’s done some dumb stuff, and I couldn’t imagine how he’d feel if he seriously hurt somebody.”
When Andy was brought to trial, Larry was there. He testified on the other boy’s behalf and begged the jury to show mercy. “He’s already changed my life forever….he knows that, and I know it. I don’t want his life to be messed up, too.” Larry explained.
Because of Larry’s compassion, Andy was sentenced to only a year in a juvenile detention center, with a few years of probation following.
Just like Larry forgave Andy and showed him mercy when he didn’t deserve it, God does that for us … every time when He sin against Him … if only we ask (see 1 John 1:9). And, because of that, we are called to show that same kind of forgiveness and mercy to others.
God, thank You for loving and forgiving me. When someone else’s decisions impact my life, let me be forgiving and gracious. Not because of me and what I want, but because of Jesus and the forgiveness He’s granted me. In the name of Jesus the Messiah, I pray. Amen.
If you liked this story, you might also like the sweet second chance romance novella Believe in Me, by Mishael Austin Witty. Available now on Kindle for only 99 cents!