How much shameless gall must someone possess to be able to commit an offense against you and then accuse you of holding a grudge when they have never acknowledged that they committed an offense in the first place? How do you forgive someone who has never repented? Just months after he murdered a 16 year old child, George Zimmerman apologized to the boy’s family in open court. At his bond hearing in April 2012, with gross emotional aloofness Zimmerman turned to the parents of the murdered teen and said, "I am sorry for the loss of your son..."
Trayvon Martin, armed only with his youthful innocence and a bag of Skittles was gunned down by George Zimmerman who had followed him, confronted him and then put a bullet in the child’s chest. I was not surprised when the parents of Trayvon Martin refused to accept Zimmerman’s apology, but I was mortified at what unimaginable hubris it must take to kill someone’s child and then with detached indifference simple say, “I am sorry”. Disgusted and disturbed it has taken me these many months to respond to that apology.
To George Zimmerman and every unrepentant miscreant who commits a heinous crime against another human being and then takes no responsibility; or even worse you blame the victim, listen up. You do not apologize for murdering someone's son. You take responsibility for your action and then ask for forgiveness. And in some cases, you beg for it. Trayvon's parents did not lose their baby boy - George Zimmerman took him from them!
Saying you are sorry is never a free pass when you refuse to be held accountable for the damage you have done. Forgiveness is the result of true repentance. True repentance is evidenced by the offender taking responsibility for what they have done. The world and the Body of Christ are filled with people who have never ever taken responsibility for the pain and the heartache that they have caused others. They never "own" their offenses. Some offenders pretend as if nothing ever happened while others flat out lie and/or admit nothing. Still others just make excuses, "That happened 40 years ago" or "I was a child too" or "I did not know what I was doing". While denying their victim the possibility of closure unrepentant offenders seek forgiveness for sins for which they have never repented.
Today, I am steadfast on the path of healing because I no longer look to my offender(s) to fix what they broke or to bind up the wounds that they inflicted. I look to Jehovah Rapha, the Lord my healer. While I must and do forgive my offender(s), it is my offender(s) who must repent to God and to me if restoration is ever to take place. When and only when they repent and ask for forgiveness then and only then is restoration possible. Albeit, whether they ask for forgiveness or not, I must release them and look to the Lord to heal me and restore emotional and spiritual health to me. “For I will restore health unto you, and I will heal you of your wounds, says the LORD…” Jeremiah 30:17.
© Copyright 2012 by Monica C. Holland. This article was originally printed in 2009 and revised in 2012 by Monica C. Holland. Please Do Not Post This Article On Any Other Website Without Linking It Back To This Page. Do Not Reproduce This Article Without The Written Permission Of The Author. “…In all your getting, get understanding..." Proverbs 4:7
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