Forgiven and Forgiving

by Chris Nadolny

“Please pray that I am able to forgive the people who’ve hurt me. I spend a lot of time thinking about ways I can get revenge,” said Daniel.

After more than ten years in college ministry I’ve heard most things, but this had a new twist. Though this was not a typical prayer request at the Miami-Dade College Bible study, it was vulnerable and showed spiritual awareness. I knew I had to follow up with Daniel. I invited him to talk more after his class later that day.

We reconnected that afternoon and meandered through campus as the the hot sun baked the concrete. Eventually we found a table in the shade to discuss his request. I assumed by his openness that Daniel was a Christian, but it turned out he had only been to church a few times. He knew he needed something different in his life if he would ever experience freedom from his bitterness.

As I shared the gospel with him, I prayed silently that God would move in Daniel’s life. He had never heard that Jesus was a gift we received as opposed to a model to follow to earn a place in heaven. He was so riveted by the gospel that he stayed through the beginning of his next class. That day he decided to put his faith in Christ!

Since that day, Daniel hasn’t missed a Bible study. We’ve also hung out several more times to talk more about what it means grow in a relationship with God. Last time, we circled back to his forgiveness prayer request. I explained that through his forgiveness, he’s now able to forgive the person and trust that God will bring justice to the situation. As Daniel prayed he not only thanked God for His forgiveness, but also asked God to bless the person who wronged him. God brings the lightness of the gospel to those who are carrying heavy burdens.