Home Family Services Hurt? Don’t Hate.

Hurt? Don’t Hate.

Hurt? Don’t Hate.

In 2006, Charles Roberts entered the one-room schoolhouse of a Pennsylvania Amish community, took a dozen girls hostage, then shot ten of them, killing five before taking his own life.

Something profound happened days after the shooting. At the funeral of one of the murdered children, the grandfather spoke and encouraged the congregation to be merciful. “Instead of choosing hate,” he said, “forgive.”

And they did.

Despite their grief, they responded with grace to the tragedy. Several families from the Amish community went so far as to visit the gunman’s widow, to pray with her, and to offer her love and comfort instead of judgment.

It is natural to want to hurt someone who has hurt us. The satisfaction of revenge is only temporary. Negative consequences can last a lifetime. Resentment, bitterness and anger make our pain worse. Resentment and bitterness keep us in pain, instead of releasing us.

Forgiveness isn’t easy – or fair. No amount of forgiveness can erase a tragic event. The hurt that you and I suffer is wrong, and we don’t have to pretend otherwise. We must forgive ourselves if we are to move on.

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