Beliefnet
Safe Place with Ruth Graham

I recently published a book on forgiveness. Not that I am an expert – I am an apprentice. I am one who has struggled long and hard with this idea of forgiveness. I have had to forgive others for the pain they caused me. I’ve had to ask forgiveness from those I wounded. It’s been a journey.

And I have read volumes on the subject. I wanted to know what worked, what didn’t. I wanted to know what was biblical and what wasn’t. I wanted to have someone share their journey – honestly and transparently. I couldn’t find such a book. So I wrote it!

We often think of forgiveness as a way to get healthy emotionally. Or a way of letting something go. Or a gift we give ourselves. I believe there are elements of all of those but it is so much more.

I had a rather shallow understanding of forgiveness until I visited death row at Angola Prison in Louisiana some years ago. A prisoner’s experience made me go,”Wow!” and begin to rethink my understanding.

Forgiveness in is unfair and costly. Ask Jesus how unfair it is and just how much it cost. And I have learned forgiveness is a process – a life-long process.

It was a beautiful picture in Dallas recently of Brandt Jean, brother of Botham, killed by Amber Guyger, giving Amber a hug and saying he forgave her for killing his brother. Oh! That we all could do that.

However, I think that in the weeks and months to come Botham will experience an emotional rollercoaster of anger, pain, resentment. He will wonder if he truly forgave. He did! He made the decision to forgive and that decision was the doorway for the Holy Spirit to inhabit that decision so it will be effectual. Emotions don’t tell the truth. Only God’s word is sufficient for truth. Trust it. As I am sure Botham does and will.