The Power of Forgiveness

On Christmas Day last year, a tragedy occurred in the Brisbane suburb of Springwood. Nine-year-old Josiah Sisson was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver whilst out with his family looking at Christmas lights in his neighbourhood. Tragically, he died in hospital two days later after being taken off life support.

A truly horrible tragedy for any family to have to go through. Whilst this is a remarkably tragic story, this is a story with a remarkably positive and inspiring twist.

You see, little Josiah was a Christian and his family are members of Potter's House Church in the suburb of Redbank Plains. And whilst his family were naturally grief-stricken and mourning the sudden loss of their little boy, his family were also resolute in their trust of Jesus and their belief that there is power in forgiveness.

So - in response to the families request - one of the pastors at Potter's House Church went to visit the driver of the vehicle in order to invite him to church. As Eternity News explains in quoting Pastor Field from Potter's House:

“Sin is what caused this... We’re all sinners and we all need Christ.”

Remarkably, the driver of the car agreed to come to church and attended an organised prayer meeting for Josiah, before being pictured hugging Josiah's father Karl Sisson, who offered him forgiveness on behalf of himself and his wife.

Wow. I don't know about you, but this act of incredible grace and mercy moves me to tears.

This is the response from a family who were reeling from the loss of their little boy. This is the response from a family who were still very much in the midst of sorrow and grief from the loss of their child. This is the response from a family who no doubt still had plenty of unanswered questions as they wrestled with thoughts, emotions and feelings that would have filled their minds after this horribly traumatic event. Yet, this is the response of a family who remained resolute in offering forgiveness to those who had wronged them horribly; just like Jesus calls each of us to offer to those who have wronged us.

The Bible makes it clear that we are to show radical forgiveness towards anyone who wrongs us. Matthew 6:14-15 says:

"14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

There is great power in forgiveness. Forgiveness - like in this example - testifies to the ultimate forgiveness that God showed us, through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Forgiveness helps to release those of us who have been wronged from the associated burdens that trauma often brings, such as anger, depression, anxiety, and weariness of others. Forgiveness is the doorway to healing; unforgiveness is a cell that holds us captive and renders us powerless.

Be encouraged by this families' response to this incredibly tragic situation, and extend radical forgiveness to others who have wronged you. Jesus is ready and waiting to give you the strength and opportunities to do so!


Ps Joel Hawting

comments powered by Disqus