Activated - - NEWS - THE PRISON

There’s a story of a visit Pope Leo XII made to the jail of the Pa­pal States in 1825, which goes like this: The pope in­sisted on ques­tion­ing each of the pris­on­ers as to how he had come to be there. As you’d ex­pect, ev­ery man protested his in­no­cence—all but one, that is, who ad­mit­ted that he was a forger and a thief. Turn­ing to the jailer, the pope said sternly, “Re­lease this scoundrel at once, be­fore his pres­ence cor­rupts all th­ese noble gen­tle­men here!”

We may chuckle, but there’s a les­son here for all of us: God’s for­give­ness is granted to those who know they need it, don’t de­serve it, and can’t earn it—to those who de­pend solely on His mercy and grace.

This prin­ci­ple ap­plies to our sal­va­tion by faith, but it also goes for ev­ery­day life. How of­ten are we like the other men in the story, un­will­ing to ad­mit our mis­takes and short­com­ings, which could lead to for­give­ness and fa­cil­i­tate rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with those we’ve wronged? And how of­ten do we hold on to the hurt and re­sent­ment caused by some­one else’s ac­tions in­stead of let­ting go and for­giv­ing them for their mis­takes and short­com­ings?

God’s Word tells us we are to for­give oth­ers (even if we think they don’t de­serve it), be­cause we were for­given by God when we didn’t de­serve it: “Be kind, com­pas­sion­ate, and for­giv­ing to each other, in the same way God for­gave you in Christ.”

1 Whether the per­son who of­fended you is sorry or not, whether he or she ever ex­presses remorse or not, your de­ci­sion to for­give is es­sen­tial in re­leas­ing you from your prison of pain and bit­ter­ness and en­abling you to move for­ward. For­giv­ing some­one who has hurt us is never easy. But with God, it is pos­si­ble. Sa­muel Keat­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Edi­tor

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