September 4th, 2005


New Member
If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

-Matthew 6:15 (NRSV)

ONE day a friend called me at work to warn me to expect a telephone call from the worst bully I had ever known at our school for the blind. The horrible feelings and incidents of my childhood came flooding back. How easy it would have been to refuse the call! As I waited, I could barely keep my mind on my job, wondering, Is this some sort of sick trick to hit me below the belt again?

When the phone finally rang, I braced myself for the taunts and spiteful words. Much to my astonishment, he was calling to ask my forgiveness for all the terrible things he'd done and said. I could scarcely take it in. The school bully was actually asking my forgiveness! What could I, a born-again Christian, do but extend to him the same grace Christ showed to me?

Extending forgiveness to somebody who's been malicious is hard. Everything in our nature demands that we get revenge, with triple-digit interest added, on whoever has hurt us. But though revenge may taste sweet for a time, it is poison to our hearts and spirits.

Bruce Atchison (Alberta, Canada)
Lord, give us the grace to forgive others as you have forgiven us, even if they never ask. Amen.