The Power of Forgiveness

Romans 2:4

LATE ONE SPRING AARON, a seminary student, was asking God for a position at a church or at a Christian organization. When nothing happened, Aaron took a job driving a bus in a dangerous section of Chicago. Soon Aaron realized just how dangerous.

A group of tough kids began to take advantage of the young driver. Several mornings, they got on the bus without paying, ignored his warnings, and rode as far as they wanted to. He decided it had to stop.

The next morning, after the teens got on as usual, Aaron saw a policeman, pulled over, and reported the offense. The officer told them to pay or get off. They paid, but when the policeman got off, they stayed on. After the bus turned another corner or two, they assaulted Aaron.

When he came to, his shirt was bloody, two teeth were missing, both eyes were swollen, his money was gone, and the bus was empty. Returning to the terminal, he was given the weekend off. Aaron went home to his apartment. Confusion, anger, and disillusionment added fuel to the fire of his physical pain. He spent a fitful night wrestling with the Lord.

“Where’s God in all of this? I prayed for a ministry. I was willing to serve anywhere, doing anything . . . and this is the thanks I get!”

Monday, Aaron decided to press charges. The teens were arrested and brought before the judge.

Sitting in that courtroom, suddenly, Aaron felt an overwhelming sense of compassion for his attackers. The rage and resentment that had filled his heart was mysteriously replaced with forgiveness and love for them. In fact, he thought of this passage of Scripture:

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? . . . Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?


Aaron later visited each one of them in jail, telling them of his change of heart. It led to quite a change in some of them!

Are you harboring anger and resentment toward someone who has hurt you? Do whatever it takes, especially praying, to experience a change of heart today. You will never regret offering forgiveness.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.