When one family learned a man had stolen items off their personal property – they had a decision to make.
They could have responded with angry words – but instead they chose forgiveness and demonstrated an incredible act of love.
The family actually encouraged the thief to return their stolen property in exchange for an even greater gift – and just wait until you hear what it was.
Having someone steal from your car or home is incredibly violating, as our homes are supposed to be our sanctuaries.
Naturally, when a security cam caught a man red-handed driving up to the family home, parking his car, and swiftly running into their garage to steal two leaf blowers before speeding off, it was a shock.
While it was inconvenient, victim Jennifer Collier decided to use the opportunity to live out her Christian faith – by offering forgiveness – and even offering a gift – to the thief.
She wasn’t shy to admit her frustrations – but she wanted to let the thief know that God loves him – and that taking a Bible instead could be the greatest and only gift that would truly make him happy.
“The greatest commandment in the Bible is to love the lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your soul. Second commandment directly following that is to love your neighbor as yourself,” says Jennifer Collier…
I left a Bible for you on my front porch. If you want to return what you took, it’s there for you because the things that you took that’s not going to make you happy,” says Collier.
The family says the Bible will remain on the porch until the man comes back and says if he does come back, they will not even try to have him arrested.”
Of course, there are consequences for every crime, and Jennifer wouldn’t have been wrong to press charges.
But she wanted the thief to know something more important – that he was loved – and even though he did a bad thing – there is forgiveness in Christ Jesus.
Even more encouraging, her public testimony served as a witness to a dying world showing just how different Christians are – and how those who have been forgiven for much, in turn, learn how to forgive others.
Non-believers are always watching how Christians respond to situations.
Who could forget the stunned courtroom when they learned a teen was praying for the man who killed her father.
Her own father was dead, but she was praying for his killer’s salvation.
Or the pastor who forgave the ones who vandalized the church bus he used to help people during the pandemic.
Radical forgiveness usually isn’t easy – but as Christians, we are called to forgive those who have wronged us.
Cheers to Jennifer and her family for taking a hard situation where they had been wronged and using it as a way to show forgiveness.
All of us likely have people in our lives we can forgive – so next time someone offends you – think about how much Jesus has already forgiven you – and you’ll be reminded how important it is to forgive others in return.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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