Posted by: watchman | May 12, 2009

Forgiveness is Freedom

I was sad to see that NPR is cancelling their long running series “This I Believe.” BAsed on work done by Edward R. Murrow, “This I Believe” was a serious of essays from a variety of people about their deepest beliefs and values.

One essay that I will never be able to forget is this one. A woman (Jennifer Thompson-Cannino) finds out years after she is raped, that the man she put behind bars (Ronald Cotton) was not the actual perpetrator. Both the wrongfully convicted man and the victim discuss the power of forgiveness. At one point, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino makes a remarkable observation:

I soon discovered that I could even forgive the man who had raped me—not because he asked me to, nor because he deserved it—but because I did not want to be a prisoner of my own hatred.

If you have been harmed or wornged, do you continue to allow that initial wrong to define your life? Or have you gained freedom from that wrong by the power of forgiveness?

It is a part of the human story to be harmed by others. On the other hand, it is a part of God’s plan to heal the world, to find freedom in forgiveness. Forgiveness can help us overcome even the worst of crimes against us.



  1. That’s funny. Did you know that I wrote about Jennifer Cannino and Ronald Cotton in my post entitled “Hope”?

    I wonder how you and I define forgiveness, and how we both believe it is lived out. We may have diverse opinions on the subject, like the ones we were talking about in Podcast #3 today.

    Good to talk with you today.


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