After a jury convicted Amber Guyger of murdering Botham Jean in Texas, the dead man’s brother Brandt, forgave and hugged the killer. He said “I forgive you . . . I don’t even want you to go to jail.” The dead man’s father said, “That’s what Christ would want us to do. If you will not forgive, neither will your Father forgive you.” That forgiving attitude sparked controversy, especially among African Americans, who often get the short end of racial justice. No matter what side one takes in such a controversy, forgiveness requires humility before God and respect for one another. Long ago, King Solomon pleaded with God to show mercy and forgive his people. But he recognized a principle we often overlook. We find in 2 Chronicles chapter 6 where he pleaded to God for forgiveness but prefaced his request by saying, do this when they repent and turn from their sins. Solomon said to God, “If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul … hear their prayers and … Forgive your people who have sinned against you.” Today our country needs a lot of repenting and turning from racial injustice so God can forgive us and heal our land.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More