Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Forgiveness and the Image of God

This is a fascinating story.  One of immense pain and suffering, brought about by inhumanity to fellow men brought about by ignorance.  It is also one of amazing forgiveness in the face of a horrific act.  As a Christian I can learn from this news item.

I believe that I have been forgiven much by a all-powerful God; I know that the punishment for sin has been dealt with in Jesus, His death and resurrection.  Surely, if this is true then some of the forgiveness that Rais Bhuyian has shown Mark Stroman should be evident in my heart, mind and behaviour to those who have hurt me.  I should be more forgiving and willing to work alongside people for the good of others. It should be evident in the way I deal with fellow believers.

What about the Christian Church as a whole?  What does a story like this teach us?  It should be there when we find things difficult.  We should be able to deal with people who don't agree with us in a way which shows the tolerance that Christ has with us.  Christians should be able to sort out their difference in a loving, calm and patient manner. It should be evident in a way Christians deal with world situations.  We should be the most forgiving people living on this planet, it should be in our DNA!  I have read some awful stuff written by Christians in response to September 11th and the ensuing conflicts. It has made me ashamed.  Christianity is a religion that should be full of grace and forgiveness to all.  (I understand the need for repentance and a 'go and sin-no more approach as well but this is not the purpose of this post.)

Another lesson from this news item is that all men and women are made in the image of God, it was the Fall of humans that corrupted something that was perfectly beautiful.  However, this story tells us that remnants of it potentially remain in all of us.  As a Christian I believe that both men in this story are on the right track and would enter into a full humanity (as God originally intended) through a relationship with Jesus.  I believe I can learn from both of them. 

No comments: