Forgiveness

“That was a great mock interview!”

I smiled and held back a childish squeal of excitement.

“But you’ll never make it to medical school.”

“What?” My smile slowly curled downwards.

“You’ll never make it. You’re not good enough. You’re only a B student and there’s nothing on your current college transcript that says you should be a doctor. I think it’s a waste of your time and effort to even apply to these schools. Honestly, you should apply for research jobs, sit in the corner of a laboratory, do some research on bugs or whatever, and not expect to ever make it. Go ahead and give up now and forget your dream of becoming a doctor.”

At the ripe age of 21, it crippled me. I remember running out of that conference room and somehow making it back to my on-campus apartment.

Dr. King, the pre-medical department head of Stetson University, told me that I wasn’t good enough.

I forgive you, Dr. King.

When a patient hand wrote a thank you card stating that I found her breast cancer when no one else did, I forgave you.

When a patient in a financial hardship made a $25 donation to our local hospital as a thank you to me for all of my hard work in our community, I forgave you.

When a patient thanked me for preventing the amputation of his toe, I forgave you.

For. every. single. patient. I. helped. I. forgave. you.

For every single person in my life who has supported me from the start of my medical journey, I can not thank you enough. I’d like to make a list of all of these wonderful people but the list is too long and each person would deserve a blog of their own (Wow! Maybe that’ll be my next blog series? Thank you letters!).

For every single person that doubted, disagreed, dismissed, disliked, hesitated, despised, or disbelieved, I thank you too. But most importantly, I forgive you.

Forgiveness is good for the soul and important in moving forward in life. It provides a peace and an understanding to the person forgiving others.

But most importantly, it is biblical teaching.

A disciple asked Jesus how many times we should forgive someone and the answer is brilliant.

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18: 21-22 KJV

Forgive over and over again. Forgive so that you can let go and move on. Forgive so that you can focus on the plans Jesus has for you.

Jesus also told a parable of a man who was forgiven a large debt but then refused to forgive someone else who owed him a small amount of money. See the rest of Matthew 18.

Forgive over and over again. Because you’ve also been forgiven in the past too. Forgive others as you’ve been forgiven.

Christians accept that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead 3 days later to overcome death and provide an eternal life in heaven for us.

But let’s change the wording a bit.

Jesus died on the cross because he forgave us. He forgave us for all of the things we’ve done in the past and will forgive us for all of the things we may do in the future.

He prepares a room for us in heaven because we are already forgiven for every mistake in this world.

Jesus forgave Judas, who betrayed him.

Jesus forgave the ones who slashed his back with a whip.

Jesus forgave the ones who placed a crown of thorns on his head.

Jesus forgave the ones who impaled nails into his hands and feet.

Jesus forgave the one who stabbed him in the ribs while he bled out on the cross.

Jesus forgave and forgives.

Forgive others. Don’t forget. Just simply forgive.

Let me pray for you. God, please help us to forgive. Help us to remember that Jesus forgives all and we should forgive others as well. But also God, remind us that forgiveness allows us to move forward and to let go of the anger, frustration, resentment, and depression that the hurt may have caused us. Remind us that when we forgive and let go, we move closer to you and your plan for us. Please forgive us as well. Forgive us of every bad word, thought, and action that was not Christ-like in the past and anything that we may do in the future. Thank you for being a God that promises forgiveness, no matter what. It is in your name we pray, Amen.

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