Forgiveness as Preventing Further Chaos After the Original Injustice

An admired colleague of mine lost her child to kidnapping and murder when the child was just entering her teenage years.  This event was so shocking, so vicious that it started to enter into the mother’s heart.  She said that she would have gladly killed the man if she could and would have done so while she smiled.  Yet, in time she realized that her entire being was being transformed by the effects of the resentment living within her….and she did not like at all who she was becoming.

The killer was about to take a second victim, the mother, as she emotionally degenerated because of the stress and monstrous nature of the act.  She chose to forgive instead and her life took on great meaning.  She became a conduit of good for her other children.  She began to show them a new way, one based on goodness instead of the absence of goodness.  The children were able to see this new way and to take that goodness into their own hearts.  A life of meaning and purpose in service to others grew in the heart of the family.

The killer did not claim them as other victims and there was triumph.  The mother came to realize that  profound injustice can kill without even touching another–but it did not happen here.  There is something so powerful about realizing that forgiveness helps us stand against the chaos of cruelty and triumph over it even when the grave injustice has had its way for a while. It no longer continues to have its way because the absence of good (the chaotic injustice) is met by goodness itself and goodness is the one that seems to win in the long run.


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Categories: Anger, Children, Consequences of Forgiving, Our Forgiveness Blog, Trauma


  1. Josh says:

    So important. Those who act unjustly can leave carnage long after the original badness. Knowing this is half the battle. Then acting with forgiveness can stop that carnage.

  2. Beth says:

    This is so true. We can let others lead us into our own inner chaos. When we do that we let them win. I am glad that forgiveness is one way to guard against this inner disruption that really can lead to chaos.

  3. Samantha says:

    You are right about life being too full of chaos. We need not add more chaos by our anger. Forgiveness is indeed an aid to standing firm against the chaos that can compound as we let our anger have the freedom to roam.

  4. Chris says:

    Never considered this. Cruelty extends its shelf-life if we let it. This is strong incentive to start forgiving soon so that the chaos does not reign.


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