Several years ago, Newsweek magazine carried the story of the memorial service held for Hubert Humphrey, former vice-president of the United States. Hundreds of people came from all over the world to say good-bye to their old friend and colleague. But one person who came was shunned and ignored by virtually everyone there. Nobody would look at him much less speak to him. That person was former president Richard Nixon. Not long before, he had gone through the shame and infamy of Watergate. He was back in Washington for the first time since his resignation from the presidency.
Then a very special thing happened, perhaps the only thing that could have made a difference and broken the ice. President Jimmy Carter, who was in the White House at that time, came into the room. Before he was seated, he saw Nixon over against the wall, all by himself. He went over to him as though he were greeting a family member, stuck out his hand to the former president, and smiled broadly. To the surprise of everyone there, the two of them embraced each other, and Carter said, “Welcome home, Mr. President! Welcome home!” One president to another, from different parties, they understood what they had in common, what burdens they had born in common, they were elected presidents.
Commenting on that, Newsweek magazine asserted, “If there was a turning point in Nixon’s long ordeal in the wilderness, it was that moment and that gesture of love and compassion.”
Many Christians have committed horriblesins – sins they regret for the rest of their lives. Many of these sins, though repented of, still bring a heavy burden and great sorry to their life. A turning point in the life of many of these burdened souls is how we react to them after they have repented. Do we harbor ill-will? Do we resent them? Do we avoid them? What should we do? The Bible says if a brother repents we are to forgive him (Luke 17:4). We are to treat them as the father did the returning prodigal son (Luke 15:11ff). The turning point in the life of many forgiven sinners will be our gestureof love and compassion.
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!