Why Should I Forgive?

My life changed one summer evening, on August 16, 1992. I had gone fishing with my family, including my youngest brother Josh, two days before. My parents left that day for a weekend vacation to Salt Lake City. Josh and our cousin Gage were staying together in my parents’ home. I was supposed to watch them to make sure nothing happened to them. Josh, Gage, and their friend Andrew Wolford went to the local convenience store for some treats and a pop. When they were walking into the store, a young man and his friend were sitting in their pickup truck watching them. They didn’t know my brother, but one of the young men had a gun. He told his friend, “I could kill that kid.” He aimed his gun and shot my brother in the head.

I was awakened that night by pounding on my front door. It was my niece, and she said that my brother had been shot and they were transporting him by helicopter to Idaho Falls. I raced to the helicopter pad and saw my brother being loaded into the helicopter. I rushed to the hospital twenty-five miles away. I held my little brother’s hand later that night after the surgery as he was dying. I wept and let go of his hand as he died.

The police said that the young man that killed my brother was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing. He was a son of a very rich and connected person in our community. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, found guilty and sent to drug rehab for six months, then released on probation. I was angry that my brother’s life wasn’t considered worth jail time. To me the police seemed to be on the killer’s side. The prosecutor wouldn’t even hardly talk to my family, and was next door neighbors to the killer. It didn’t seem fair. The police chief told us that boys will be boys.

Hatred grew in my heart. I hated the young man that killed my brother, and I hated that people that I thought helped him get away with murder. For a few months this hatred consumed my life, and then I realize that it was destroying me. I knew that I must forgive and that I was becoming somebody that wasn’t the person I need to be. I prayed to God for forgiveness and to help me love this young man that killed my brother. The tragedy wasn’t my brother dying, but the young man that killed my brother. I realized that for the Savior to forgive me, I must forgive that young man. Christ could forgive the Roman soldiers as they were killing him, and he would forgive me of my sins. He would forgive this young man, and so I did. A great weight was taken off of my shoulders, and I felt love in my heart again.

Since that time, I have thought when people make me mad that if I could forgive this young man that killed my brother, then I can forgive anyone. I can now say that I hate no man. Sometimes the worst things in your life are the best things for you, because they teach you the most important things of life. One of them is forgiveness.

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12 thoughts on “Why Should I Forgive?

  1. June says:

    I have experienced my father being attacked by a druggie for money – he didn’t know me after that; my close friend betrayed me terribly; my brother did not let me know where my mum lived for 11 years. I saw her in hospital for a few precious hours at the end. I can’t have her trinkets. Thank god I have a wonderful husband and two wonderful daughters and a close friend and my cousin. I have raged at God but now I totally forgive. I’m at peace. I want some happiness. I want to give. I have a new business which I love and all i need. I don’t understand any of the past and perhaps Im not meant to. I walk tall and give my all. If women in the war could do it so can I. My counsellor said a lot of it was jealousy. Of what? Anyway, Be Happy Always everyone. Be kind to yourselves and Give yourself to God. xxx

    1. admin says:

      Inspiring comment. Anger and bitterness poison the soul. Forgiveness expels the poison and fills us with peace, contentment, and joy.

      1. Anonymous says:

        U are so right ‘ God is so wonderful,so holy and forgiving .ask, He will answer.!!!!!

  2. Samantha says:

    I guess I’m a little late, but I want to tell you how close this is to my heart. When I was three years old my mother was in a terrible accident that crushed both of her legs; the accident was caused by the other driver, who came out of it with only cuts and bruises. Thankfully, by Gods grace, my mother can walk today when she shouldn’t have been able to. For 12 years, my mother held a deep hatred and resentment for the woman that caused her such pain. One day, one of my moms friends told her, ‘i think i saw the woman who caused your car accident. i think she lives in the area.’ with prompting from the Lord, my mom contacted her on facebook and asked to meet. She didn’t understand why. She didn’t want to go. But she knew it was what God wanted. It wasn’t until she met this woman and got to know her, that she realized how much this hatred had been hurting her relationship with Jesus. She forgave the woman, and now lives a much more forgiving life!

    1. admin says:

      Wow! What a great story. It’s so good to hear how people are finally able to let go of bitterness and feel the love of God. Thank you so much for this comment.

  3. noel says:

    good on ya for forgiving him. I personally could not forgive.
    but what i would and have done is pray to god that he gives the
    people involved in this what they need. NOT what you think they need but what god thinks they need. You will be surprised by the result.

  4. Florence Abraham says:

    The wickedness of the wicked does not live after them but with them. Those who killed your brother and judged unjustly have murdered sleep. He who kill by the sword must surely die by the sword, whatsoever a man Soweth, that he shall reap. Thank God you were able to forgive, your going to heaven depends on it. Take heart.

    1. sarah Gunn says:

      beautiful and true
      bless you

  5. Diana Cote says:

    I don’t think that the killer should have gotten away with a deliberate murder…it will be on his conscience forever, if he has one and his potential for murder may come up again. He is a danger to society because he essentially got away with a senseless killing. That statement, “boys will be boys” does not excuse him as other boys would not do such a thing and they know right from wrong. Murdering another person is a sin against God and mankind. God is love and one of the commandments is “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. Shooting and killing others is wrong…totally. It seems like the killer has no remorse either…sad. Sorry for the loss of your beloved brother…he is safe in God’s hands now.

  6. astapley says:

    This breaks my heart to read! How frustrating. Doesn’t feel like justice was served, especially as a woman was sent to prison for 20 years just for shooting a warning shot near her abusive husband, and yet this man killed your brother. But I’m so happy that you were able to forgive!

  7. Julene Evans says:

    When this happened, I had heard a lot of the facts, I felt such a great sorrow for your family, but our trials do help us to learn and grow. Ten years ago I met Ed’s children, it was awful and years of negativity, I was so intimidated by them. But hearts softened, including ours and the best thing that happened to me was not letting others own my comfort when we get together. I so enjoy his family now and love them, but many hearts had to change.

    1. Jennifer Jones says:

      That man will have to live with what he done for the rest of his life that to me is a life sentence, It must have been very hard to forgive your heart is now free you have not let that man destroy you as well as your brother. good on you. i’m sorry about your brother. x x x

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