Usually when I read a book I just enjoy the story and anything deeper escapes me. Sometimes an idea or theme jumps out at me and dances around forcing my attention. I love it when that happens.
Fearless has a scene where Mitch Albright, the serial killer in the novel, is talking to another character. Mitch's facade cracks a little and we get a peek into the torment that drives him.
Mitch suffered abuse at the hands of people that should have protected him when he was a child. He details a few incidents in the book, but we get the idea only the tip of the iceberg is shown. Mitch burns with hatred and unforgiveness for his parents. This fire is what drives him to do unconscionable acts.
In this conversation Mitch is urged to forgive his parents but he refuses and continues to create havoc. He evens admits to himself that he is being controlled by his unwillingness to forgive. He has let his past dictate his future.
While this may be an extreme cause of the dangers of unforgiveness, it really does underline how important it is to forgive others who have wronged us. Forgiveness is not about the person who wronged us. They get to move on with their life while we are dragged down by the anchors attached to us.
Forgiveness is about us. It releases us from the shackles put on us from those who've done us harm. Forgiveness let's us dictate our future rather than the events of our past. It's so hard to let go. It even feels like we are letting the person who hurt off the hook. The reality is it frees us, not them.
It's much easier said than done. It goes against our flesh. We want justice. We want the guilty to pay. And they should. But not at the expense of the hurt and broken. And unforgiveness exacts a toll.
Jesus told the disciples we should forgive someone who has wronged us 7x70 times. That doesn't mean you only have to forgive 490 times. He also said we are to love those who persecute us. God has claimed vengeance It is not ours. God has forgiven us while we were sinners, how can we not forgive those who have trespassed against us?
God doesn't tell us to forgive because he's bored and wants to make up some rules. He created us and knows what's best for us. He knows that we need to forgive and let Him be the judge.
There's been books and articles that have said it all much better than I could, but this is what sprang to mind when I read this part in Fearless. I love to read for enjoyment, but it's really nice when I am reminded of something from God in the middle of it. Especially when it's something I need to be constantly reminded about.
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