The Facebook Killer
74 year-old Robert Godwin Sr. was walking home after an Easter meal with his kids. That was when Steven Stephens filmed himself walking up to the elderly man, having a brief conversation with him and shooting and killing him.
In a sick and twisted fasion, Stephens posted this video on Facebook, thus making him known as the "Facebook Killer." And yet in the midst of such a horrific and tragic event, something amazing has come about.
Some of the Godwin family wer recently interviewed on CNN. As soon as they were given a chance to speak, they made it clear that they had already forgiven Stephens and felt no animosity towards him.
They explained that he clearly wasn't healthy in his mind and wouldn't have done something like this if he was. They talked about the spiritual upbringing they had with their father and if he could, he would tell his kids to forgive him. What an incredible example! Sometimes we have trouble forgiving people for much less impactful sins against us.
It's important to remember the words of Jesus. "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." (Matthew 6:14-15)
We need to follow the example of Jesus. As he hung on the cross he said, "Father forgive the them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) As Stephen was being stoned to death, he cried with a loud voice, "Lord do not hold this sin against them." (Acts 7:60)
Hopefully, we will never be faced with a situation where we need to forgive a murderer, but no matter what the situation is, great or small, let us forgive. After all, God has forgiven us of such an enormous spiritual debt, certainly we can forgive other of such smaller things.