How do Jesus’ commands apply when we are remote witnesses, not in-person victims? Some teachings of Jesus are ambiguous. His command of forgiveness is not among them. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them,” he taught his disciples, “and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them” (Luke 17:3–4). In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples to forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:22) and then tells the parable of the…

While the murder of his wife devastated Rev. Anthony Thompson, he and three other relatives of victims chose to privately and publicly forgive the shooter. Years later, the church and community still struggle to understand the family members’ deliberate choice to forgive the racist murderer. But as Charlestonians have witnessed these incredible acts of forgiveness, something significant has happened to the community—black and white leaders and residents have united, coming together peaceably and even showing acts of selfless love. Bible Gateway interviewed Rev. Anthony B. Thompson about his book, Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, a Victim’s Husband, and…

You’ve blown it. You have really messed up this time. You have agreed with God that what you did was sin. You know that God heard your prayer asking forgiveness, and you really meant every word. You believe that Jesus died for you on the cross and that His sacrifice forgives all your sins. But you still feel guilt and condemnation. You know from the Bible that God has forgotten that sin. He has removed it from you as far as the east is from the west. But you still feel horrible! How do you get past that feeling? We…