Lately, I have found myself in situations that I need to forgive some people who have hurt me. We've all been there, right? Being so upset and angry at that person who has done us wrong. Actually today, my heart was so bitter and filled with pride and hate and I knew that I had to forgive these people. It is so hard for me to lay everything down at the Lord's feet and wipe the slate clean.

How is this so hard for us humans to do when Jesus Christ took on all of the sin of the world and threw it all away? How can this be? I was reminded of when Jesus was hanging on the cross, and with this huge heart he said to God, "Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing."

He had mercy on us. Mercy. Not once did he jump down from the cross and strike these people down- condemning them. He hung there and forgave them with a full heart of love and mercy. As I held this in my heart, I began reading in Acts 7 where Stephen is about to be stoned by the Jews because of spreading the gospel. In the middle of him getting stoned, Stephen says, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Lord, do not charge them with this sin." ......Wow. I am literally sitting here at my desk in shock. This man, named Stephen, was being stoned, killed, murdered- and he wanted the Lord to not charge them of this sin. 

I need to be more like this guy named Stephen. I need to be more like Jesus. I need to forgive these people and know that they do not really know what they are doing. This world is filled with hate, pride, sin, filth, but I am going to stand firm and not let myself creep into those ways. When Jesus and Stephen said those things, I thought.. "This is not the person, this is not their soul acting on this. This is sin acting on this. The Lord sees us as a human being he created to be perfect, but it is the sin that is ruining us." I have to love these people who have done me wrong and know that this is not the person that the Lord made them to be, it is the sin that has taken over. We shouldn't be mad or upset at the person, we should be saddened that sin has taken over. 

So with this, I am urged to be more like Stephen in this situation. Looking at these people with mercy and loving them. Knowing that this is just sin. Staring at them and seeing Jesus, because Jesus intended for us to be perfect- at the very beginning. 

Elise Woods