According to Ronald Regan’s daughter, President Reagan forgave John Hinckley for trying to assassinate him. He told his daughter, “I know that my healing depends on my forgiving him.” In forgiving Hinckley, Mr. Reagan calls to mind Jesus’ lesson about forgiveness. We see in Matthew Chapter 18 that Peter asked the Lord if he should forgive his brother seven times. Jesus replied, “No, not seven times, but 70 times 7.” Our Lord made clear that we should place no limit on how many times we forgive others. He then related a parable to drive home His point. He told of a rich man who forgave his employee a $12 million debt because he could not pay it. The same man went out and immediately demanded payment of a few dollars from a fellow employee. When the man could not pay him, he threw him into prison. The rich man heard what happened and called his employee back. He told him that since he did not show mercy on his fellowman, he would go to prison and be tortured until he paid every penny he owed. God wants us to forgive others because He has forgiven us. Also, when we fail to forgive others, we suffer personal pain and hinder our ability to function. Someone has said when we fail to forgive, we stand on our own air hose. That’s why President Reagan chose to forgive the man who tried to kill him. He did it not only to recover from his bullet wounds, but also to have peace of heart and mind.
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