Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Sometimes heroes come in different shapes and sizes. Often, they’re so unlikely that they could be standing right in front of you.
The Ten Boom family is a prime example.
During World War II, the Ten Booms took their Christian responsibilities seriously and began hiding Jews in their home in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Even though discovery meant certain imprisonment, the Ten Booms, along with their friends, saved the lives of around 800 Jews over the course of about three years.
At one point, they even constructed a hidden room the size of a closet on the top floor of their house (in youngest daughter Corrie’s room) so that their “illegal” guests could have time to hide in case the Nazis investigated the home.
Eventually, that day did come. A local informant turned the Ten Booms in, and the Nazis raided the home. The entire Ten Boom family was thrown into concentration camps, where Corrie’s father Casper and sister Betsie both died.
Corrie is remembered for her heroic acts during the war, but also for the way that she forgave her betrayer and captors. She is remembered for sayings like, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”
It’s doubtful that you’ll be betrayed in a matter of life and death, but you will almost certainly have times where people do things to hurt you, whether on purpose or not. The Bible is very clear on forgiveness – it’s not an option. Jesus led the way by forgiving those who crucified Him, and if we’ve confessed our sins to Him, He has even forgiven us. How, then, can we do anything less by holding unforgiveness in our hearts toward others?
Today, examine your heart and see if you have hardness toward anyone. If you do, pray that the Lord will help you release that so that you can forgive them, allowing your heart to fully heal.
Reflection copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.