Forgiveness is something I struggle with. It’s easy for me to trust people I love. I willingly give them second or third or fourth chances. But people I don’t love — those I expect to hurt me again — it is incredibly difficult for me to trust them and even harder to forgive.
For the past couple months I’ve grown fond of Christian hip hop. I know you’re about to tune out because I mentioned Christian rap, but stick with me. Christian rap artists have some of the coolest redemption stories of anyone I’ve ever heard. This’l is an ex-hustler from the hood. In non-street terms that means he used to sell drugs in the ghetto. Because of his story, he knows redemption and salvation differently than I can coming from my safe life in my safe town. It shows in his music.
This song, ‘I Forgive You,’ was written to one of the boys from his block who killed his cousin. He talks about going to court and expecting to be mad, to want him to die, but when he looked at this man, he saw past the sin and saw God’s grace. And then the line that gets me every time, “I don’t want you to die. I want you to live. I want you to fly.” I want you to fly. This’l goes beyond forgiveness and prays for success — prays for life — for this man who hurt him.
I don’t know how to forgive the people who have hurt me and betrayed my trust, and I don’t know how to pray for life for them. But this is my prayer: that God would soften my heart toward those whom I deem undeserving and teach me how to forgive them.
I Forgive You, by This’l