Would you be able to forgive the person who nearly killed you? Bret Lynn, a mechanic from the suburbs north of Philadelphia, was faced with this very question after a terrifying altercation that left him fighting for his life.
Arriving home from dropping his kids off at gymnastics, Bret noticed a person attempting to break into some of cars in the lot of his family owned shop, which is in close proximity to his home. When he told the man to leave, the situation escalated quickly and before he knew it, Bret had been stabbed and was in critical condition.
While in the ambulance, Bret recalled being in great pain — but he also found himself thinking a great deal about forgiveness. His Christian faith called him to be forgiving — but would he be able to do it when it mattered most? “If I couldn’t forgive when it really mattered, then I think my witness as a Christian would be hurt,” Lynn said of his attacker.
Feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit to “resolve the conflict” with his attacker. “My heart went out to him,” Bret said, explaining that his attacker had fallen on hard times.
“Graciously the judge allowed me to address him (the attacker) personally. I essentially told him, I don’t want him to be in prison any longer than the state deems necessary. It ought not be on account of me, because he doesn’t owe me anything anymore. I told the court, the reason I’m forgiving this guy is because Christ has forgiven me for so much more than he had done to me. None of us are righteous, none of us are perfect, none of us are holy. But God is holy. God is infinite. He’s holy, he’s righteous and he’s perfect. My sins are against God, and so my debt is much greater.”
“If we’re Christians and we’ve been forgiven for everything we’ve done then how can we withhold forgiveness?”