Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. –Colossians 3:13 NIV
The book Unbroken is the true story of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who came to the United States as an Italian immigrant. As a boy, he was beaten, made fun of, and always in trouble. His brother encouraged him to run, and it changed his life. His Olympic career was cut short by World War II when he was drafted.
He became a bombardier. One fateful day his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, and he was afloat on a raft for forty-seven days. Rescued by the Japanese from the ocean, Louie was then put into a war camp prison. He kept repeating to himself what his brother had told him, “If you can take it, you can make it.” Louie had promised God that he would do anything he wanted if he would just get him safely home. And He did!
After the war, Louie became an evangelist traveling the country preaching forgiveness. When he returned to Japan to make peace with his captors, the worst abuser refused to see him. He forgave the man anyway. Later in life at the age of eighty, Louie carried the torch in the Olympics in Tokyo.
He did not allow the horrible treatment he experienced early in his life to ruin the rest of his life. He found healing in forgiveness. His true gold medal will last for eternity, and so will yours. Forgive those who have hurt you as God forgives us.
- Don’t let a root of bitterness destroy you from within. Keep short accounts.
- We’ve been forgiven so much, for so many things. Forgive everyone who offends you. Healing comes in forgiveness.