Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Forgiveness Challenge

I'm very grateful to my friend Lane Widick for agreeing to share this article that he recently shared on his personal blog.


By now, you’ve probably heard of Mo’Ne Davis and her stunning rise to stardom as the pitcher for a little league team in the world series. She even made the cover of Sports Illustrated!

Recently, a young man who played baseball for Bloomsburg University, made a statement on Twitter that is too vulgar to repeat on a Christian blog, but needless to say, you would be picking your jaw of the floor after reading what he stated.

The university promptly kicked Joey Casselberry, the player in question, off the team.

Mo’Ne had every right to be upset.  What was said about her shouldn’t be said about anyone, much less a teenager.

But do you know what she did?  She wrote a letter to the university, and it says this:

Dear Dr. Soltz (the President of the university),

I am writing about the Tweet sent out by your baseball player, Joey Casselberry, and his dismissal from the team because of it. While I admit I was pretty hurt when I read his comments, I felt sad that he was dismissed from the team. As many people know, my dream is to play college basketball and maybe even professionally. I know how much hard work and dedication it will take to get there, and to have that dream taken away would be heartbreaking. I am sure Joey Casselberry has worked very hard to get where he is and dreams of playing in the major leagues. For this reason, I’m asking you to please allow him back on the team so that he can continue to chase his dream. He made one dumb mistake. I’m sure he would go back and change it if he could. We all make mistakes and deserve to be forgiven. I hope you will give him a second chance and allow him to play.


Mo’Ne Davis

You know what, I’ve made dumb mistakes before.  We all have done things that we shouldn’t have done.  I find it refreshing to see someone who not only forgave the offender, but came to the defense of the defender.  What a lesson to learn from a 13 year old girl.

A lot of us may say we forgive someone, but we want their heads for what they did to us.  Forgiveness accompanied with actions such as that is not real forgiveness.  What if Jesus said “Father, please forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing,” but then followed that with “But in 3 days when I rise from the dead, I’m going to make sure each person that mocked me, beat me, spit on me, or drove a nail in my hands – is dealt with in a swift and proper way.”

We say things like “Well, in the business world, if this happened…” – but you know what?  I don’t think Jesus meant “Forgive others, but then treat them like the business world would treat them.”

Maybe we all need to learn a lesson from Mo’Ne.  If someone says they're sorry, no matter how vile or tame their words may be – we forgive, and truly forgive, and move on.  No need to be like the Queen of Hearts with a “Off with their heads” mentality.

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