Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. Luke 23:34
Three-year-old Holland was arguing with her mom during bedtime. Finally, her mother, Mary Katherine Backstrom, tucked the girl in, saying firmly, “I love you, Holland, but not another word tonight. You are going to sleep now. I’m done fussing over stuffed animals.” But Holland had one more thing to say: “Mommy, I forgive you.” Mary Katherine didn’t know Holland even knew the word forgive, so she asked what she meant. The girl said, “It means you were wrong, and I’m tired of being mad, and now I’m going to sleep and my heart won’t have a tummy ache.”
That’s just about it, isn’t it?
When we forgive someone, we aren’t condoning their actions. We’re saying we’re tired of being mad, and we’re ready to let go of the fury so our heart won’t ache. That’s only possible through the work of Christ on the cross. When Jesus called out asking forgiveness for those who nailed Him to the cross, He showed us compassion and forgiveness.
Take His example to those around you. Be Christlike in your interactions with others today—show His heart of compassion by forgiving those who may have wronged you.
I was reminded by my toddler never to go to bed in anger.1 Mary Katherine Backstrom
- Augusta Statz, “This 3-Year-Old’s Explanation of ‘Forgiveness’ Is Brilliant,” Simplemost, July 2019, https://www.simplemost.com/this-3-year-olds-explanation-of-forgiveness-is-brilliant/.
The King Crucified: The Comedy at Calvary (Luke 23:33-39)