Learning how to forgive through faith

Published 8:27 pm Monday, February 27, 2017

Christian author Max Lucado popularized the Old Testament character Mephibosheth for our generation. Mephibosheth was King Saul’s grandson and apparently the last of Saul’s lineage when David became king. David could’ve sought revenge and had him killed, but instead decided to show kindness to Mephibosheth since he was the son of David’s friend Jonathan.

I’m sure Mephibosheth dreaded his audience with the king, but was surprised at David’s announcement. The king said he would restore Saul’s property to Mephibosheth, adopt him as his ward and provide a place at the king’s table for him forever (2 Samuel 9:6-9).

Lucado insisted Mephibosheth is us.

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He was crippled from a fall he suffered as a child, just as we’re crippled by our fall since we’ve all fallen short of God’s plan (Romans 3:23). And through no merit on our part, a king has invited us into his family and to dine at this table.

What a beautiful picture of salvation.

I think this is also a story of forgiveness.

The Old Testament has many bloody stories of revenge, and David would’ve been within his rights to abolish any threat to his kingdom.

But instead he put old difficulties with Saul behind and moved on in renewed relationship.

Nobody said forgiveness was easy, but it’s commanded of us by our heavenly father.

Every time we pray The Lord’s Prayer we’re reminded to forgive others.

I met David Azbell two years ago at a political items collectors’ show in Plains, Georgia. David was press liaison for former Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace.

While cataloging items for the state archives, David found a copy of a letter Wallace wrote in 1995 to Arthur Bremer, who at the time was an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown. David discovered only the governor’s secretary who typed it knew about the letter, and that it wasn’t for public reading.

Following is the text of the letter.

Dear Arthur:

Your shooting me in 1972 has caused me a lot of discomfort and pain. I am a born-again Christian. I love you. I have asked our heavenly father to touch your heart, and I hope that you will ask him for forgiveness of your sin so you can go to heaven like I am going heaven.

I hope that we can get to know each other better. We have heard of each other a long time. Please seek our heavenly father because I love you, and I am going to heaven, and I want you to be going, too.


George C. Wallace

P.S. Please let Jesus Christ become your personal savior.

If Gov. Wallace could forgive the man who shot him, the offenses I struggle with seem so trivial.