Radical Forgiveness | TBN

Radical Forgiveness

Watch Radical Forgiveness
November 8, 2020
27:29

It Is Written seeks to impact lives for Christ.

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Radical Forgiveness

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  • ♪[theme music]♪
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  • -John Bradshaw:This is It Is Written.
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  • I'm John Bradshaw.Thanks for joining me.
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  • In an age of shocking crimes,
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  • in an age where,where mass shootings
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  • just don't reallysurprise us anymore,
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  • in an age of unhinged peoplecommitting heinous acts,
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  • this one was reallyvery shocking.
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  • Charleston, South Carolina,was founded in 1670.
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  • It's situated righton the Atlantic coast
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  • and was named in honor of theEnglish monarch at the time,
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  • King Charles II.
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  • A city with roots that deep
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  • is clearly a place withsome interesting history.
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  • And, given the timeperiods involved--
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  • colonization, slavery, theRevolution, the Civil War--
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  • some of that history is painful.
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  • Just a few days beforesummer began in 2015,
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  • a 21-year-old South Carolinaman traveled to Charleston
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  • with malice on his mind.
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  • The young man who cameto Charleston that day
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  • possessed a sickenedmind and a gun.
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  • A combustible mixture.
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  • He came here toEmmanuel AME Church
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  • fully intending to do harm--
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  • or more to the point, fullyintending to take life.
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  • Motivated by racial hatred,he mingled with worshipers
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  • at the mid-week Bible study,
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  • biding his time untilhe fired almost 80 shots
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  • and took nine lives.
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  • He murdered six womenand three men.
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  • He was arrested the next dayalmost 250 miles away.
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  • It's not easy to imagine theimpact of an event like this.
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  • Think of it this way.
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  • In September of 1989, at leasttwo dozen South Carolinians
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  • died when Hurricane Hugobattered parts of the state.
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  • Now, of course, atragedy is a tragedy,
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  • but this was nature;things happen.
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  • Earthquakes and tornadoes andhurricanes are to be expected.
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  • But what happened in Juneof 2015 was different,
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  • very different, in fact.
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  • When a person dies in anatural disaster, for example,
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  • there are somesurvival mechanisms,
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  • some psychologicalmechanisms survivors
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  • or those affected by thetragedy can default to.
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  • In spite of,"This isn't fair."
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  • In spite of, "Why didthis happen to us?"
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  • In spite of, "Lifeis rough right now."
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  • In spite of a senseof helplessness and anger,
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  • what we know is thatnatural disasters happen.
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  • We know thatcancer, for example,
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  • heart disease,strokes, they occur.
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  • It was terribly sadthat Grandma died,
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  • but, after all, people do die.
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  • But how do you wrestlewith something like that?
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  • Nine people didn't simply diehere in Charleston that night.
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  • They had their lives snatchedaway due to a deliberate,
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  • thought-out,planned act of hatred.
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  • Children were leftwithout parents.
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  • Parents lost their children.
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  • Siblings and friends andneighbors and colleagues,
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  • all had to wrestle with aradically altered existence,
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  • one that contained nowsome very big holes.
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  • People went to churchthat night--to church--
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  • to worship, to pray,to study the Word of God.
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  • This was hideous.
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  • We know how Godfeels about murder.
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  • The sixth commandment isprobably best expressed
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  • when it's translated,"Thou shalt not murder."
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  • This is truly disastrous.
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  • So how do you go on whensomebody you love is murdered
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  • in circumstances like these,
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  • by a person who soughtout innocent people
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  • for the purpose of doingsomething ultimately hateful?
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  • Well, we're about to find out.
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  • Myra Thompson was therethat night at the church
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  • often referred toas "Mother Emmanuel."
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  • She was among thenine people murdered.
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  • Her husband Anthony has madethe remarkable decision
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  • to forgive the man whokilled not only his wife,
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  • but eight others.
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  • Thank you so muchfor joining me.
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  • I appreciate it greatly.
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  • It was June 17, 2015.What happened?
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  • -Pastor Anthony Thompson:Someone called me
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  • from the church--
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  • not from the church--
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  • it was a member of EmmanuelAME Church called me
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  • and, and told me that shootingwas going on at the church,
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  • and somebody wasshooting outside.
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  • That's, at least, I thoughtit was outside.
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  • So I, I took offout of my house.
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  • I, I drove down, found outthat shooting was taking place
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  • inside the church,not outside the church.
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  • Then I was told that familymembers had been moved
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  • from the church to a hotel.
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  • So I thoughteverything was okay,
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  • until I got there,
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  • found out that ambulanceswere parked outside.
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  • Nine.
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  • So I thought, had to be more toit than what I had been told.
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  • And once I searched,trying to find my wife,
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  • frantically searching,trying to find her,
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  • and trying to get intoEmmanuel AME Church,
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  • I discovered...I lostmy best friend,
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  • the one I love the most.
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  • And, uh...[inhales and exhales]
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  • it kind of tookeverything out of me.
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  • -John: You made a remarkabledecision, however.
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  • This was a crime intentionallyperpetrated by a hate-filled man
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  • bent on causing pain,perpetrating violence,
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  • and, and starting a race war.
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  • -Pastor Thompson:Mm-hmm.
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  • -John: But you didn'ttake the bait.
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  • And somehow you and othersmade a decision to forgive,
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  • a decision I'm sure somepeople would think is crazy.
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  • Let's get to that in a moment,but I want to ask you,
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  • how were you able to make thedecision to forgive, and why?
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  • -Pastor Thompson: Well, thedecision to forgive Dylann
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  • came easy.
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  • Not for me, but easy in a waythat God stepped in and,
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  • and made it possible,
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  • because He put me in a placein the bond hearing,
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  • a place where Ididn't want to be.
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  • Then when I got there,He had me to say something
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  • that I had no ideaI was going to say.
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  • And that was to forgive him.
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  • And so, that's what I meanwhen I say it was easy.
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  • But then...you know, afterthinking about it for some time
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  • after actually doing it,
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  • I realized that He had beenpreparing me for that moment
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  • for a long time.
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  • -John: Why do you think it wasthat you chose to forgive
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  • when so easily youcould have said,
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  • "I'm not going to forgive,"
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  • and you, you could havestood up in that hearing
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  • and said all mannerof unkind things?
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  • Why did you make that choice?
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  • -Pastor Thompson: Well...
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  • first, I didn't want Dylannto have control over my life.
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  • I didn't want him to havecontrol over my children's life.
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  • I wanted to just be rid of him.
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  • And one way of being ridof him was to forgive him
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  • so that then his intentions ofstarting a race war wouldn't,
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  • wouldn't happen.
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  • And, if I'd gonethe opposite way,
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  • well, I would havegave in to him,
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  • and he would havebeen in control.
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  • And so forgiveness wasa way of releasing myself
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  • from his control.
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  • -John: And clearlythat's what you've done.
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  • You've released yourself fromthe control of the person
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  • who committed thisterrible act of violence.
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  • I wonder if some people wouldsay you let him off the hook.
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  • -Pastor Thompson: Yes.Some people have said that.
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  • Some people saidthat they don't see how
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  • I could forgive himbecause it's like saying,
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  • I don't want anythingto happen to him;
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  • I don't want himto be punished.
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  • And, um, my answer was, "No,it was letting me off the hook."
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  • Dylann is being punished.
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  • Dylann is in jail--
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  • nine, nine counts of, uh,the death sentence.
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  • And so I'm not lettinghim off the hook;
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  • I'm letting myself off the hook,
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  • you know, from havinghim have control,
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  • from, from me being angry,
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  • and from me hating him andjust making my life miserable.
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  • Because if I had not forgivenDylann, you know, the anger
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  • and harboring angerand hate in my heart for him
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  • would only destroy my life.
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  • -John: What sort of manwould you be today
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  • if you'd not madethe choice to forgive?
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  • -Pastor Thompson: I probablywouldn't be at this church.
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  • Because, first thingcame to my mind was,
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  • what, what am I going to do?I have no more purpose.
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  • And I was thinking, well, doesthat mean leaving the church?
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  • So, I probablywouldn't be here.
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  • Could have just continued topity myself and pity myself.
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  • I don't think itwould have been good.
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  • My life probably wouldhave changed drastically.
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  • You know, I probablywould have gone from God
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  • to not depending on Him,depending on myself.
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  • Could have led to drinking,drugs, uh, I don't know.
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  • You know, it could have gonequite the opposite.
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  • -John: Here's another unknown,
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  • although people havespeculated on this.
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  • Your decision to forgive, thedecision made by you and others,
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  • to forgive a murderer had avery powerful effect on a city.
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  • -Pastor Thompson:Mmm.
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  • -John: Tell me about that,
  • 00:09:30.992 --> 00:09:32.127
  • how the city of Charlestonwas impacted by forgiveness.
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  • -Pastor Thompson: Well,the city of Charleston
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  • was not lookingfor forgiveness.
  • 00:09:38.099 --> 00:09:40.168
  • They were lookingfor us to start a riot,
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  • to start the race warlike Dylann wanted.
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  • And from that not happening,it just put everybody in awe,
  • 00:09:44.139 --> 00:09:51.179
  • gave them time to think--what, what just happened?
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  • You know, why?
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  • What was that?You know.
  • 00:09:57.318 --> 00:09:59.587
  • And, and then immediatelyeverybody just hold hands
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  • and hugged, cried together,
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  • you know, uh,brought flowers
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  • and put them in frontof the church together.
  • 00:10:07.929 --> 00:10:09.564
  • And spent days, I mean, the cityof Charleston was crowded;
  • 00:10:09.597 --> 00:10:12.701
  • the downtown area was so crowdedtraffic couldn't even move
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  • because the peoplewouldn't move.
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  • The people just wantedto be attached to somebody.
  • 00:10:17.706 --> 00:10:20.308
  • And it didn't matter what yourrace was or what your color
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  • or your culture was orhow different you spoke.
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  • You know, we, we justwanted to communicate.
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  • We, we, you know,it was like,
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  • it was like we all hada sense of family
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  • 'cause somebody came andjust destroyed and killed
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  • some people in our family,like brothers and sisters,
  • 00:10:38.593 --> 00:10:40.795
  • and so we came togetherlike brothers and sisters,
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  • like, you know,"Oh my God," you know,
  • 00:10:42.964 --> 00:10:44.466
  • you know, "Myra's gone."
  • 00:10:44.499 --> 00:10:46.468
  • You know, "Tywanza,he's gone."
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  • You know, just like you,like they lost somebody, too.
  • 00:10:49.370 --> 00:10:53.241
  • And so it gave everybody a senseof just wanting to be together,
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  • being a, beinga family,
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  • and that's what we'retrying to work on now.
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  • -John: There's powerin forgiveness.
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  • There is powerin forgiveness.
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  • Looking forward to talking morewith Pastor Anthony Thompson
  • 00:11:01.583 --> 00:11:03.818
  • about this in just a moment.
  • 00:11:03.852 --> 00:11:06.087
  • ♪[music]♪
  • 00:11:06.121 --> 00:11:11.292
  • -Announcer:We hear it all the time:
  • 00:11:15.296 --> 00:11:17.198
  • God is all-powerful,and God is love.
  • 00:11:17.232 --> 00:11:19.968
  • But if God is sopowerful and loving,
  • 00:11:20.001 --> 00:11:22.270
  • why is there so much suffering?
  • 00:11:22.303 --> 00:11:24.339
  • Discover what the Biblesays on the subject
  • 00:11:24.372 --> 00:11:26.307
  • by requestingtoday's free offer,
  • 00:11:26.341 --> 00:11:28.343
  • "Why Does God Allow Suffering?"
  • 00:11:28.376 --> 00:11:29.978
  • It's absolutely free.
  • 00:11:30.011 --> 00:11:31.546
  • Just call800-253-3000,
  • 00:11:31.579 --> 00:11:35.116
  • 800-253-3000,
  • 00:11:35.150 --> 00:11:38.253
  • or write to the addresson your screen.
  • 00:11:38.286 --> 00:11:39.988
  • You can also makeyour request online
  • 00:11:40.021 --> 00:11:41.623
  • atiiwoffer.com.
  • 00:11:41.656 --> 00:11:43.992
  • -John Bradshaw: Thanks forjoining me on It Is Written.
  • 00:11:45.493 --> 00:11:47.996
  • My very special guest isPastor Anthony Thompson,
  • 00:11:48.029 --> 00:11:50.799
  • whose book,"Called to Forgive,"
  • 00:11:50.832 --> 00:11:52.634
  • recounts the terrible tragedyin Charleston, South Carolina,
  • 00:11:52.667 --> 00:11:56.671
  • in 2015 and its aftermath.
  • 00:11:56.704 --> 00:11:59.974
  • Uh, tell me about theprocess of writing that book.
  • 00:12:00.008 --> 00:12:02.944
  • It had to be painful,therapeutic.
  • 00:12:02.977 --> 00:12:06.147
  • How was that for you?
  • 00:12:06.181 --> 00:12:07.582
  • -Pastor Anthony Thompson:Well, initially,
  • 00:12:07.615 --> 00:12:08.950
  • I didn't want towrite immediately
  • 00:12:08.983 --> 00:12:11.352
  • because...we hadpeople coming at us
  • 00:12:11.386 --> 00:12:15.590
  • from all differentkind of directions,
  • 00:12:15.623 --> 00:12:17.525
  • and didn't havetime to mourn,
  • 00:12:17.559 --> 00:12:19.994
  • barely had time to thinkabout what had happened.
  • 00:12:20.028 --> 00:12:22.897
  • And I didn't want to re-livethat, you know, not at the time.
  • 00:12:22.931 --> 00:12:27.769
  • And so, um, I gave itsome prayer,
  • 00:12:27.802 --> 00:12:30.705
  • with the help of otherpeople praying with me.
  • 00:12:30.738 --> 00:12:33.875
  • And then, eventually,I started speaking,
  • 00:12:33.908 --> 00:12:38.213
  • started speaking todifferent crowds,
  • 00:12:38.246 --> 00:12:40.748
  • different churches,organizations,
  • 00:12:40.782 --> 00:12:43.117
  • and as I spoke,it was like venting,
  • 00:12:43.151 --> 00:12:46.588
  • and I could feel myselfbeing relieved day by day.
  • 00:12:46.621 --> 00:12:50.191
  • But then after a while, afterrealizing the real purpose,
  • 00:12:50.225 --> 00:12:55.997
  • that God wanted thisto be a mission
  • 00:12:56.030 --> 00:12:59.267
  • and spread the gospelof forgiveness,
  • 00:12:59.300 --> 00:13:02.103
  • is when I heard the peopleseeking, seeking something,
  • 00:13:02.136 --> 00:13:05.473
  • some kind of peace,
  • 00:13:05.506 --> 00:13:06.741
  • wanting to know how--"What is forgiveness?"
  • 00:13:06.774 --> 00:13:08.209
  • "How does it work?"You know, "What can I do?"
  • 00:13:08.243 --> 00:13:10.278
  • And then it kicked in.
  • 00:13:10.311 --> 00:13:12.914
  • You know what, yeah, I needto write this book.
  • 00:13:12.947 --> 00:13:15.149
  • -John: It's interesting,as a minister of the gospel,
  • 00:13:15.183 --> 00:13:17.085
  • forgiveness is your thing;it's what you talk about.
  • 00:13:17.118 --> 00:13:18.953
  • It, the, the gospelis about forgiveness.
  • 00:13:18.987 --> 00:13:21.589
  • A sinful world, we needreconciliation with God.
  • 00:13:21.623 --> 00:13:24.926
  • So talk to me aboutyour understanding,
  • 00:13:24.959 --> 00:13:27.729
  • your experience in God'sforgiveness towards us.
  • 00:13:27.762 --> 00:13:31.299
  • How do you understand that moredifferently or more completely,
  • 00:13:31.332 --> 00:13:33.801
  • now that you've been calledto forgive in a very real,
  • 00:13:33.835 --> 00:13:39.507
  • very raw sort of a way?
  • 00:13:39.540 --> 00:13:41.676
  • -Pastor Thompson: Beforethis actually happened,
  • 00:13:41.709 --> 00:13:43.945
  • before Godintervened...you know,
  • 00:13:43.978 --> 00:13:48.049
  • I didn't give forgiveness a realthought, a real deep thought.
  • 00:13:48.082 --> 00:13:53.054
  • All I knew was that I wasa forgiven person,
  • 00:13:53.087 --> 00:13:55.990
  • and some of the things thatI experienced in my life
  • 00:13:56.024 --> 00:13:59.060
  • from my childhood--I wentthrough some things that,
  • 00:13:59.093 --> 00:14:01.162
  • uh, some people whooffended me, you know--
  • 00:14:01.195 --> 00:14:04.432
  • I forgave them in the past.
  • 00:14:04.465 --> 00:14:06.968
  • And, but never reallyexperienced the kind of peace
  • 00:14:07.001 --> 00:14:11.639
  • that I experiencedwhen I forgave Dylann
  • 00:14:11.673 --> 00:14:14.142
  • at the bond hearingthat day, you know,
  • 00:14:14.175 --> 00:14:16.678
  • because what he did to my wife,it was completely different.
  • 00:14:16.711 --> 00:14:21.249
  • Um, and so, I sawforgiveness then as,
  • 00:14:21.282 --> 00:14:27.155
  • well, something I'msupposed to do, you know.
  • 00:14:27.188 --> 00:14:30.625
  • And I knew that it, if I did it,
  • 00:14:30.658 --> 00:14:33.261
  • something good wouldcome out of it.
  • 00:14:33.294 --> 00:14:35.663
  • But then when I forgave Dylann,
  • 00:14:35.697 --> 00:14:37.098
  • it was more than somethinggood came out of it.
  • 00:14:37.131 --> 00:14:39.500
  • It was, I receiveda peace, you know,
  • 00:14:39.534 --> 00:14:44.939
  • I mean, a, a calmness,
  • 00:14:44.973 --> 00:14:47.909
  • a more sense ofletting God have control,
  • 00:14:47.942 --> 00:14:52.347
  • knowing that I couldtrust Him, you know,
  • 00:14:52.380 --> 00:14:56.517
  • because of what Hebrought into my life,
  • 00:14:56.551 --> 00:14:59.387
  • where He gave menew purpose.
  • 00:14:59.420 --> 00:15:01.756
  • And so it was that, that,it was different...
  • 00:15:01.789 --> 00:15:06.027
  • at the tragedy than it wasprior to the tragedy.
  • 00:15:06.060 --> 00:15:09.530
  • -John: Undoubtedly there aremany people watching us
  • 00:15:09.564 --> 00:15:11.165
  • right now who are struggling toforgive, refusing to forgive.
  • 00:15:11.199 --> 00:15:16.404
  • "I know I shouldforgive, but I won't.
  • 00:15:16.437 --> 00:15:19.040
  • It hurts too much."
  • 00:15:19.073 --> 00:15:20.341
  • This and that.
  • 00:15:20.375 --> 00:15:21.409
  • What would you say to thatperson that's wrestling
  • 00:15:21.442 --> 00:15:23.144
  • with forgiveness?
  • 00:15:23.177 --> 00:15:24.278
  • How does someone go aboutforgiving another person?
  • 00:15:24.312 --> 00:15:28.149
  • -Pastor Thompson:I would say,
  • 00:15:28.182 --> 00:15:29.283
  • right now, I knowyou're hurting.
  • 00:15:29.317 --> 00:15:32.320
  • You know, I know somebodydid something to offend you,
  • 00:15:32.353 --> 00:15:35.289
  • and, and it hurts you, and youprobably want to get them back.
  • 00:15:35.323 --> 00:15:39.527
  • You know, you probablyhate the person.
  • 00:15:39.560 --> 00:15:41.629
  • You're probablyangry at that person.
  • 00:15:41.662 --> 00:15:43.731
  • And you feel you'vegot to do that
  • 00:15:43.765 --> 00:15:46.934
  • because it's going tomake you feel better.
  • 00:15:46.968 --> 00:15:49.504
  • Well, I'm going tolet you know now:
  • 00:15:49.537 --> 00:15:50.838
  • It won't make you feel better.It'll make you feel worse.
  • 00:15:50.872 --> 00:15:54.275
  • Because harboring angerand harboring hate,
  • 00:15:54.308 --> 00:15:57.478
  • it affects your health;it affects your mind;
  • 00:15:57.512 --> 00:16:00.648
  • you know, it justaffects your soul.
  • 00:16:00.681 --> 00:16:02.183
  • And you just getdeeper and deeper
  • 00:16:02.216 --> 00:16:04.685
  • and deeper anddeeper until, till,
  • 00:16:04.719 --> 00:16:07.088
  • till wanting to dosomething bad.
  • 00:16:07.121 --> 00:16:09.390
  • But forgiveness is,it may be hard to do,
  • 00:16:09.424 --> 00:16:13.394
  • but God can help you.
  • 00:16:13.428 --> 00:16:16.064
  • All you need to do is toask God to forgive you;
  • 00:16:16.097 --> 00:16:20.635
  • then ask God to help youforgive the person
  • 00:16:20.668 --> 00:16:22.870
  • you can't seem to forgive.
  • 00:16:22.904 --> 00:16:24.806
  • And that's all He'llrequire of you,
  • 00:16:24.839 --> 00:16:26.340
  • and He will help you do it.
  • 00:16:26.374 --> 00:16:28.242
  • You will do it.
  • 00:16:28.276 --> 00:16:29.477
  • And when you do it, Iguarantee you 100 percent
  • 00:16:29.510 --> 00:16:33.214
  • that He will give you thatpeace that you've been trying
  • 00:16:33.247 --> 00:16:35.983
  • to find through other meansof being angry and revenge.
  • 00:16:36.017 --> 00:16:39.320
  • -John: How about,though, though--
  • 00:16:39.353 --> 00:16:42.090
  • someone's going to say, "Yeah,my neighbor backed into my car
  • 00:16:42.123 --> 00:16:45.259
  • and then lied about it.Cost me $1.100."
  • 00:16:45.293 --> 00:16:48.763
  • But that's that.But what about the big things?
  • 00:16:48.796 --> 00:16:54.035
  • And you're qualifiedto speak about this
  • 00:16:54.068 --> 00:16:55.636
  • 'cause you wentthrough the biggest thing.
  • 00:16:55.670 --> 00:16:58.039
  • Help someone getover that hump.
  • 00:16:58.072 --> 00:17:00.141
  • 'Cause I can justimagine somebody saying,
  • 00:17:00.174 --> 00:17:02.210
  • "Yeah, I, I understand that,
  • 00:17:02.243 --> 00:17:03.611
  • but you don't know whatI've been through."
  • 00:17:03.644 --> 00:17:06.581
  • How do we address that withthe really difficult things?
  • 00:17:06.614 --> 00:17:09.784
  • [inhales and exhales]
  • 00:17:09.817 --> 00:17:11.919
  • -Pastor Thompson: We canmake things difficult,
  • 00:17:11.953 --> 00:17:13.554
  • because we, we, wedefine sin as small sin,
  • 00:17:13.588 --> 00:17:19.060
  • as big sin.
  • 00:17:19.093 --> 00:17:20.495
  • We look at lyingas something small.
  • 00:17:20.528 --> 00:17:22.630
  • "Well, I can do that.I can forgive them."
  • 00:17:22.663 --> 00:17:24.198
  • Then we look at murders.
  • 00:17:24.232 --> 00:17:25.333
  • "Oh, that's, that's just too,that's just too much.
  • 00:17:25.366 --> 00:17:27.568
  • I can't forgive him."
  • 00:17:27.602 --> 00:17:29.036
  • But sin is a sin.
  • 00:17:29.070 --> 00:17:31.873
  • You know, wrong is wrong;bad is bad.
  • 00:17:31.906 --> 00:17:34.976
  • There's no greater;there's no lesser;
  • 00:17:35.009 --> 00:17:37.111
  • they're all the same.
  • 00:17:37.145 --> 00:17:38.112
  • So, you've got to takea look at that first.
  • 00:17:38.146 --> 00:17:40.648
  • You know, then you've got totake a look at your own life.
  • 00:17:40.681 --> 00:17:43.084
  • You've got to examineyourself and say to yourself,
  • 00:17:43.117 --> 00:17:46.821
  • "Who have I done wrong to?Who have I lied to?"
  • 00:17:46.854 --> 00:17:48.723
  • What, you know, you know,was it, was it a big sin,
  • 00:17:48.756 --> 00:17:51.692
  • or was it a small sin?
  • 00:17:51.726 --> 00:17:53.027
  • There's no, no greater.
  • 00:17:53.060 --> 00:17:54.795
  • And then if you can seeyourself as a person
  • 00:17:54.829 --> 00:17:58.366
  • who's done somebody wrongor said something wrong,
  • 00:17:58.399 --> 00:18:00.434
  • then it makes it a little easierfor you to see the person
  • 00:18:00.468 --> 00:18:03.137
  • that did you wrong,
  • 00:18:03.171 --> 00:18:04.238
  • no matter how big, how smallyou may see it to be.
  • 00:18:04.272 --> 00:18:06.941
  • But there's no bigger sin,and there's no smaller sin.
  • 00:18:06.974 --> 00:18:09.010
  • Sin is sin.
  • 00:18:09.043 --> 00:18:10.678
  • -John: And if we lookat the Bible,
  • 00:18:10.711 --> 00:18:11.979
  • we understand that Jesus died,not because of your sin;
  • 00:18:12.013 --> 00:18:16.250
  • He died because of my sin.
  • 00:18:16.284 --> 00:18:17.952
  • So, I'm responsible forthe death of the Son of God,
  • 00:18:17.985 --> 00:18:21.022
  • and surely that oughtto motivate me somehow
  • 00:18:21.055 --> 00:18:23.524
  • to exercise forgiveness.
  • 00:18:23.558 --> 00:18:25.493
  • Jesus said, didn't He,"Father, forgive them."
  • 00:18:25.526 --> 00:18:30.198
  • "Father, forgive them."
  • 00:18:30.231 --> 00:18:31.799
  • As a minister of the gospel,
  • 00:18:31.832 --> 00:18:33.701
  • what does that exampleof forgiveness
  • 00:18:33.734 --> 00:18:35.670
  • exercised or demonstratedby Jesus mean to you,
  • 00:18:35.703 --> 00:18:38.172
  • and how do you share thatand relate that to others?
  • 00:18:38.206 --> 00:18:41.809
  • -Pastor Thompson:It means a lot to me,
  • 00:18:41.842 --> 00:18:43.611
  • 'cause first of all, the painand the suffering that He took.
  • 00:18:43.644 --> 00:18:48.616
  • I mean, He, He was, He, He wasbeaten as He walked to Calvary.
  • 00:18:48.649 --> 00:18:54.322
  • You know, He, He, they,they took a whip with,
  • 00:18:54.355 --> 00:18:57.925
  • tied with bones and,and, and, and like glass,
  • 00:18:57.959 --> 00:19:01.395
  • like metal on the endof the tips of it,
  • 00:19:01.429 --> 00:19:03.531
  • just tore Him, ripped His body.
  • 00:19:03.564 --> 00:19:05.499
  • Then they put crownsof thorns on His head.
  • 00:19:05.533 --> 00:19:07.235
  • Then they took, set the spearin His side, you know,
  • 00:19:07.268 --> 00:19:10.471
  • where the blood and the watersurrounding His, His heart,
  • 00:19:10.504 --> 00:19:14.242
  • you know, just camedown His body.
  • 00:19:14.275 --> 00:19:16.244
  • And then, they nailed Him tothe cross, hands and feet.
  • 00:19:16.277 --> 00:19:20.448
  • I mean, that's realpain and suffering.
  • 00:19:20.481 --> 00:19:22.917
  • But He didn't have to do it.He did it for you and me.
  • 00:19:22.950 --> 00:19:26.187
  • And He said,"Father, forgive them."
  • 00:19:26.220 --> 00:19:29.156
  • So, if He can do all that forme and do all that for you,
  • 00:19:29.190 --> 00:19:35.129
  • then we should be able toforgive someone who does,
  • 00:19:35.162 --> 00:19:38.132
  • who's done somethingso small to us.
  • 00:19:38.165 --> 00:19:42.803
  • You know, I mean,
  • 00:19:42.837 --> 00:19:45.640
  • for God's sake, you know,forgive that person.
  • 00:19:45.673 --> 00:19:48.943
  • -John: "Called to Forgive."
  • 00:19:48.976 --> 00:19:50.911
  • If anybody knowssomething about forgiveness,
  • 00:19:50.945 --> 00:19:53.247
  • it's Pastor Anthony Thompson.
  • 00:19:53.281 --> 00:19:54.582
  • We'll have a little morein just a moment.
  • 00:19:54.615 --> 00:19:56.617
  • ♪[music]♪
  • 00:19:56.651 --> 00:20:02.823
  • -Announcer:We hear it all the time:
  • 00:20:05.826 --> 00:20:07.762
  • God is all-powerful,and God is love.
  • 00:20:07.795 --> 00:20:10.598
  • But if God is sopowerful and loving,
  • 00:20:10.631 --> 00:20:12.833
  • why is there so much suffering?
  • 00:20:12.867 --> 00:20:14.969
  • Discover what the Biblesays on the subject
  • 00:20:15.002 --> 00:20:16.971
  • by requestingtoday's free offer,
  • 00:20:17.004 --> 00:20:18.806
  • "Why Does God Allow Suffering?"
  • 00:20:18.839 --> 00:20:20.608
  • It's absolutely free.
  • 00:20:20.641 --> 00:20:22.209
  • Just call800-253-3000,
  • 00:20:22.243 --> 00:20:25.680
  • 800-253-3000,
  • 00:20:25.713 --> 00:20:28.716
  • or write to the addresson your screen.
  • 00:20:28.749 --> 00:20:30.384
  • You can also makeyour request online
  • 00:20:30.418 --> 00:20:31.886
  • atiiwoffer.com.
  • 00:20:31.919 --> 00:20:34.322
  • -John Bradshaw: Thanks forjoining me on It Is Written.
  • 00:20:36.624 --> 00:20:39.293
  • As we talk aboutforgiveness, let me ask you.
  • 00:20:39.327 --> 00:20:41.696
  • You preach about it;you've written about it.
  • 00:20:41.729 --> 00:20:43.364
  • Forgiveness in the Bible,where do we see it?
  • 00:20:43.397 --> 00:20:45.866
  • -Pastor Anthony Thompson:The two servants.
  • 00:20:45.900 --> 00:20:47.735
  • There was a servant whoowed his, his master.
  • 00:20:47.768 --> 00:20:51.138
  • In today's money, it'd be likea million or more dollars.
  • 00:20:51.172 --> 00:20:53.941
  • And the master was ready tocollect, and the servant said,
  • 00:20:53.974 --> 00:20:57.111
  • "Well, you know, Lord,I don't have it."
  • 00:20:57.144 --> 00:20:59.580
  • You know, and he beggedfor mercy, you know, said,
  • 00:20:59.613 --> 00:21:01.115
  • "Hey, look, I'll payyou later, you know.
  • 00:21:01.148 --> 00:21:03.217
  • I'll pay youas soon as I can."
  • 00:21:03.250 --> 00:21:05.086
  • He said, "But justhave mercy on me."
  • 00:21:05.119 --> 00:21:07.455
  • And he had mercy on him.
  • 00:21:07.488 --> 00:21:08.489
  • And he relinquishedhis servant's debt.
  • 00:21:08.522 --> 00:21:11.792
  • I mean, he didn't evenhave to pay him back.
  • 00:21:11.826 --> 00:21:13.294
  • In other words, he forgave him.
  • 00:21:13.327 --> 00:21:15.363
  • And then that same servant,he was master to a servant,
  • 00:21:15.396 --> 00:21:19.066
  • and his servant owedhim maybe a few bucks.
  • 00:21:19.100 --> 00:21:21.635
  • And he told the man,
  • 00:21:21.669 --> 00:21:22.870
  • "I'm going to throw youin jail until you pay me."
  • 00:21:22.903 --> 00:21:26.240
  • Now, the ridiculouspart is that,
  • 00:21:26.273 --> 00:21:27.875
  • well, while he's in jail,he can't pay him.
  • 00:21:27.908 --> 00:21:30.711
  • So it means that he wasnever going to pay him,
  • 00:21:30.745 --> 00:21:32.279
  • so he was alwaysgoing to be in jail.
  • 00:21:32.313 --> 00:21:35.082
  • Then the master whoforgave him found out
  • 00:21:35.116 --> 00:21:39.220
  • that he had thrown his servantinto jail, and then he said,
  • 00:21:39.253 --> 00:21:42.323
  • "You know, I forgave you,
  • 00:21:42.356 --> 00:21:43.691
  • and you could notforgive your servant?"
  • 00:21:43.724 --> 00:21:45.893
  • He says, "So now I'm goingto throw you in jail,
  • 00:21:45.926 --> 00:21:48.362
  • and you're going tostay there, you know,
  • 00:21:48.396 --> 00:21:49.897
  • until you can pay me back."
  • 00:21:49.930 --> 00:21:51.599
  • Meaning that, you know,it was over for him.
  • 00:21:51.632 --> 00:21:54.969
  • And so, the story is that,you know, God is saying,
  • 00:21:55.002 --> 00:22:00.241
  • "If you want me to forgive you,
  • 00:22:00.274 --> 00:22:03.244
  • then you have to forgive theperson who did you wrong."
  • 00:22:03.277 --> 00:22:06.313
  • -John: Forgiveness is sofundamental to the gospel,
  • 00:22:06.347 --> 00:22:08.516
  • but we wrestle with it.
  • 00:22:08.549 --> 00:22:09.483
  • Forgiveness sometimesseems so very hard,
  • 00:22:09.517 --> 00:22:11.919
  • but as you know,unforgiveness is much harder.
  • 00:22:11.952 --> 00:22:15.756
  • -Pastor Thompson:Much harder.
  • 00:22:15.790 --> 00:22:17.124
  • -John: Tell meabout your wife, Myra.
  • 00:22:17.158 --> 00:22:18.592
  • What was she like?
  • 00:22:18.626 --> 00:22:19.693
  • -Pastor Thompson: Mmm.Myra was a beautiful woman.
  • 00:22:19.727 --> 00:22:22.029
  • Uh, very extraordinarywoman, very loving.
  • 00:22:22.062 --> 00:22:24.732
  • She wasn't astranger to anybody.
  • 00:22:24.765 --> 00:22:27.067
  • She was a giver.
  • 00:22:27.101 --> 00:22:28.402
  • Everybody loved Myra.
  • 00:22:28.436 --> 00:22:30.004
  • Myra loved everybody.
  • 00:22:30.037 --> 00:22:31.405
  • -John: What do you thinkshe'd say to somebody
  • 00:22:31.439 --> 00:22:32.873
  • wrestling with a decisionto forgive or otherwise?
  • 00:22:32.907 --> 00:22:36.710
  • -Pastor Thompson: Mmm.She would tell them,
  • 00:22:36.744 --> 00:22:40.581
  • "I don't know why youdrank that poison,
  • 00:22:40.614 --> 00:22:42.516
  • think it's going to killsomebody else."
  • 00:22:42.550 --> 00:22:44.251
  • [laughs]
  • 00:22:44.285 --> 00:22:45.820
  • "You need to go aheadand forgive them."
  • 00:22:45.853 --> 00:22:47.621
  • You know, you just need to goahead and forgive them.
  • 00:22:47.655 --> 00:22:50.524
  • Because that, you, you,
  • 00:22:50.558 --> 00:22:53.360
  • you drinking the poison notgoing to kill them, you know.
  • 00:22:53.394 --> 00:22:56.063
  • You holding hate in your heartor anger in your heart,
  • 00:22:56.096 --> 00:22:58.766
  • that's not going to doanything to them.
  • 00:22:58.799 --> 00:23:00.534
  • It's going to makeyour life miserable.
  • 00:23:00.568 --> 00:23:01.836
  • You're going to die fromthe poison, not them.
  • 00:23:01.869 --> 00:23:04.572
  • So, don't drink thepoison. Forgive.
  • 00:23:04.605 --> 00:23:08.342
  • -John: Thanks so very much.
  • 00:23:08.375 --> 00:23:09.343
  • I appreciate youtaking your time.
  • 00:23:09.376 --> 00:23:10.344
  • -Pastor Thompson:Amen. God bless you.
  • 00:23:10.377 --> 00:23:11.479
  • -John: God bless you.
  • 00:23:11.512 --> 00:23:12.680
  • -Pastor Thompson: Thank youfor taking the time to come.
  • 00:23:12.713 --> 00:23:13.647
  • -John: Sure.
  • 00:23:13.681 --> 00:23:14.448
  • -Pastor Thompson:I appreciate it.
  • 00:23:14.482 --> 00:23:14.949
  • -John: Thank you.
  • 00:23:14.982 --> 00:23:16.083
  • ♪[soft music]♪
  • 00:23:16.116 --> 00:23:17.318
  • What we know is that lifeis going to challenge you.
  • 00:23:17.351 --> 00:23:20.020
  • Most of the time, thosechallenges, relatively small.
  • 00:23:20.054 --> 00:23:23.591
  • Sometimes big,occasionally massive.
  • 00:23:23.624 --> 00:23:26.827
  • The question is,how do you respond?
  • 00:23:26.861 --> 00:23:29.330
  • In this case, hatewould serve no purpose.
  • 00:23:29.363 --> 00:23:32.266
  • It's certainly not goingto bring anyone back.
  • 00:23:32.299 --> 00:23:35.069
  • A man has been sentenced to die.
  • 00:23:35.102 --> 00:23:36.837
  • His executionwon't raise the dead.
  • 00:23:36.871 --> 00:23:40.140
  • The living will still haveto go on through life
  • 00:23:40.174 --> 00:23:42.776
  • without people thatthey love the most.
  • 00:23:42.810 --> 00:23:46.280
  • Regardless of the wrong,
  • 00:23:46.313 --> 00:23:47.915
  • irrespective of the issueinvolved, forgiveness matters.
  • 00:23:47.948 --> 00:23:51.552
  • Forgiveness setsthe forgiver free.
  • 00:23:51.585 --> 00:23:53.387
  • Forgiveness is God's way.
  • 00:23:53.420 --> 00:23:55.689
  • Now, I understand; sometimes thepain just seems way too great.
  • 00:23:55.723 --> 00:23:59.827
  • Sometimes the wrongjust seems way too wrong.
  • 00:23:59.860 --> 00:24:02.496
  • But forgiveness was given by Godso that you can be made whole.
  • 00:24:02.530 --> 00:24:07.801
  • Anthony Thompson shows us thatwe don't have to go through life
  • 00:24:07.835 --> 00:24:10.471
  • hanging on to anger and hate.
  • 00:24:10.504 --> 00:24:13.207
  • We don't have to carry with usthe weight of unforgiveness.
  • 00:24:13.240 --> 00:24:17.811
  • So how's thatworking out for you?
  • 00:24:17.845 --> 00:24:19.780
  • It seems that most everybodyhas something to forgive.
  • 00:24:19.813 --> 00:24:24.418
  • Which might just meanthat most everybody
  • 00:24:24.451 --> 00:24:26.320
  • is hanging on to something thatthey might ought to let go.
  • 00:24:26.353 --> 00:24:29.523
  • Most people are far less wholethan they ought to be
  • 00:24:29.557 --> 00:24:32.593
  • simply because they'rechoosing not to forgive.
  • 00:24:32.626 --> 00:24:36.830
  • Think about the big picture.
  • 00:24:36.864 --> 00:24:38.599
  • As sinners, God has forgiven us.God has forgiven us so much.
  • 00:24:38.632 --> 00:24:43.404
  • Jesus died for our sins, andwhen we confess our sins,
  • 00:24:43.437 --> 00:24:47.207
  • the Bible says,
  • 00:24:47.241 --> 00:24:48.609
  • "He is faithful and justto forgive us our sins."
  • 00:24:48.642 --> 00:24:52.212
  • Further, "to cleanse usfrom all unrighteousness."
  • 00:24:52.246 --> 00:24:56.550
  • After what God has done for you,
  • 00:24:56.584 --> 00:25:00.020
  • can you extend that sameforgiveness to another?
  • 00:25:00.054 --> 00:25:03.290
  • And through exercisingthe kind of forgiveness
  • 00:25:03.324 --> 00:25:06.360
  • that God has exercisedtowards you,
  • 00:25:06.393 --> 00:25:09.396
  • you can experience the peace
  • 00:25:09.430 --> 00:25:11.432
  • that Anthony Thompsonexperiences,
  • 00:25:11.465 --> 00:25:14.134
  • the peace that God wants youto have now and forever.
  • 00:25:14.168 --> 00:25:19.840
  • -John: Thank you forremembering that It Is Written
  • 00:25:20.674 --> 00:25:22.576
  • exists because of the kindnessof people just like you.
  • 00:25:22.610 --> 00:25:26.046
  • To support this internationallife-changing ministry,
  • 00:25:26.080 --> 00:25:29.183
  • please call us now at800-253-3000.
  • 00:25:29.216 --> 00:25:33.454
  • You can send yourtax-deductible gift
  • 00:25:33.487 --> 00:25:34.955
  • to the addresson your screen,
  • 00:25:34.989 --> 00:25:36.323
  • or you can visit us online atitiswritten.com.
  • 00:25:36.357 --> 00:25:40.327
  • Thank you for your prayers andfor your financial support.
  • 00:25:40.361 --> 00:25:43.097
  • Our number again is800-253-3000,
  • 00:25:43.130 --> 00:25:47.334
  • or you can visit us online atitiswritten.com.
  • 00:25:47.368 --> 00:25:50.371
  • -John Bradshaw: Let mepray with you now.
  • 00:25:51.372 --> 00:25:53.107
  • Father in heaven,we thank You in Jesus' name
  • 00:25:53.140 --> 00:25:55.009
  • that You are a Godof great forgiveness.
  • 00:25:55.042 --> 00:25:57.411
  • We thank You for the gift offorgiveness that You give to us.
  • 00:25:57.444 --> 00:26:00.114
  • I ask that right now as someoneis wrestling with a choice
  • 00:26:00.147 --> 00:26:03.617
  • to forgive or otherwise,impress that heart to forgive.
  • 00:26:03.651 --> 00:26:07.221
  • Show that person thehealthy way forward.
  • 00:26:07.254 --> 00:26:09.923
  • Friend, is that you?
  • 00:26:09.957 --> 00:26:10.991
  • Would you open your heartup to God now and say,
  • 00:26:11.025 --> 00:26:12.626
  • "God, give me that graceto forgive another,"
  • 00:26:12.660 --> 00:26:14.328
  • or "God, I choose to forgive"?
  • 00:26:14.361 --> 00:26:16.497
  • You can choose to forgive.
  • 00:26:16.530 --> 00:26:18.399
  • Don't consult your feelings.
  • 00:26:18.432 --> 00:26:20.534
  • Choose to forgive and expectthat God will take care
  • 00:26:20.567 --> 00:26:23.303
  • of the feelings inthe fullness of time.
  • 00:26:23.337 --> 00:26:25.873
  • Thank You, Lord,that You forgive us,
  • 00:26:25.906 --> 00:26:28.008
  • that Your forgivenessis full and free.
  • 00:26:28.042 --> 00:26:31.078
  • Give in our lives theability to forgive others.
  • 00:26:31.111 --> 00:26:35.949
  • We pray, we thank You,we claim it,
  • 00:26:35.983 --> 00:26:38.352
  • and we believe,in Jesus' name.
  • 00:26:38.385 --> 00:26:41.822
  • Amen.
  • 00:26:41.855 --> 00:26:43.190
  • Thanks so muchfor joining me.
  • 00:26:43.223 --> 00:26:44.558
  • Looking forward to seeingyou again next time.
  • 00:26:44.591 --> 00:26:46.193
  • Until then, remember:
  • 00:26:46.226 --> 00:26:48.395
  • "It is written, 'Man shallnot live by bread alone,
  • 00:26:48.429 --> 00:26:51.832
  • but by every word that proceedsfrom the mouth of God.'"
  • 00:26:51.865 --> 00:26:57.004
  • ♪[theme music]♪
  • 00:26:57.037 --> 00:27:02.976