Forgiveness is key to the Christian faith because we have been forgiven much by God and are called to forgive others and show them the love of God.
This is exactly what Philadelphia mechanic, Brett Lynn chose to do by forgiving his attacker of a brutal stabbing inflicted on him in his family-owned shop.
The incident happened 7 years ago when Lynn had arrived home after dropping off his kids at gymnastics, and he saw someone trying to break into some of the cars parked in the lot of his family-owned shop located near his house. He told the man to leave, but the situation got out of control and resulted in Lynn was stabbed in the gut by the intruder and was later hospitalized in critical condition.
He was in tremendous pain, but he thought over the matter and realized that as a Christian, he must forgive the attacker. “If I couldn’t forgive when it really mattered, then I think my witness as a Christian would be hurt,” he argued. Lynn was feeling the leading of the Holy Spirit to “resolve the conflict” and also added that the attacker had actually attended the same high school as he did.
His attacker had graduated 10 years before him, held a job for 25 years, and later became homeless after the company went out of business. “My heart went out to him,” Lynn said. During the time when Lynn was called to express a victim statement in court, the judge permitted him to address the attacker personally.
“I essentially told him, I don’t want him to be in prison any longer than the state deems necessary. It ought not be on account of me, because he doesn’t owe me anything anymore. I told the court, the reason I’m forgiving this guy is because Christ has forgiven me for so much more than he had done to me.” Lynn said.
Lynn added, “None of us are righteous, none of us are perfect, none of us are holy. But God is holy. God is infinite. He’s holy, he’s righteous and he’s perfect. My sins are against God, and so my debt is much greater,” he added.
Lynn ends with an important message for all of us Christians when he said, “If we’re Christians and we’ve been forgiven for everything we’ve done then how can we withhold forgiveness?”