She pointed that gnarly finger at me. "Excuse me, I thought you were a Christian."
I stopped and turned to her. I'd never seen her before.
"I am", I replied.
She stepped even closer. "Then how in the name of Jesus can you forgive that man?"
The man she was referring to committed several sins, and confessed them openly. The entire incident happened several years ago. She heard me, recently praising the man.
Before I continued I needed to calm down. Because the first thought that came to my mind was definitely NOT the way Jesus would have wanted me to respond.
I quoted James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
She was calmer now. So I continued.
"He is a better man than I. I have committed so many sins, and I will continue to sin. I'm human. But God has forgiven me. I don't think I could stand in front of my peers and confess my sins."
She seemed to be wilting a bit. But I continued.
"Do you remember the story of the woman at the well? When her peers were ready to stone her? Do you remember what Jesus did? He did NOT say, go ahead.....stone her, because she's a sinner. What Jesus said was, John 8:7 If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
I looked my friend in the eye. They were brimming with tears. I hugged her and said, remember this prayer that we often pray together?
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Forgive us our SINS as we forgive those who SIN against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever and ever.....Amen.