Who Knew A Hug Could Cause Such Anger!

by Yvonne Chase on October 8, 2019

Last week, the world witnessed an unbelievable act of forgiveness when Brandt Jean, the brother of Botham Jean who was shot to death by Amber Guyger chose to give her a hug in the courtroom. Watch the video below and we’ll talk after…

Brandt Jean Hugging Amber Guyger

Forgiveness is a topic I study and read about often because I’ve experienced a lot of hurt in my life and therefore have a lot to forgive. They say a great marriage is made up of two great forgivers. Mastering forgiveness while I’m unmarried is one way to make good use of this time. For me, I want forgiveness to rule and reign in my heart.

I’ve read a lot of books on forgiveness. Forgiving My Father, Forgiving Myself; An Invitation To The Miracle Of Forgiveness by Ruth Graham is the best book I’ve read on this topic so far. I started writing this post on Sunday to publish on Monday, however, when Monday rolled around, I didn’t hit publish because it didn’t seem quite ready and then this book was in my mailbox. Look at God! I’ll be referring to it quite a bit in this post.

unforgiveness

Many people don’t understand forgiveness and that’s why I believe many are mad at Brandt for doing what his Christian faith calls him to do. In chapter 2, Forgiveness Isn’t Fair, Ruth starts it with a quote by C.S. Lewis that says, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Brandt chose to forgive the inexcusable in Amber. Ruth goes on to say, “Unfairness, whether real or perceived, is hard to bear and challenging to forgive.”

Let’s be clear, if the tables were turned and Botham “accidentally” walked into an apartment and killed a white woman, he would never see the light of day again. So in this case, when the majority say it’s not fair, there’s nothing perceived about it. The list of unarmed black men who died at the hands of white police officers who were not convicted is long and that is why many were shocked when Amber was actually convicted of murder and angry when she only received a mere ten-year sentence.

Allison Jean’s cry for justice.

In chapter 3, God’s Heartbeat, Ruth says, “Forgiveness is so important to God that he commands us to forgive. It is not a recommendation or a suggestion but a direct command.” Since Brandt professes Christianity, he has to live it, especially when it’s uncomfortable. Doing what he did in that courtroom was not easy but he did it because it is the standard by which God calls him and those of us who profess Christianity to live. In that same chapter, Ruth shares six things forgiveness is not:

hug

1. Forgiveness is not natural. What Brandt did was not natural at all. “It is not human to automatically forgive a wrong. “When wronged, we desire justice or revenge. Our natural response is to be hurt or angered. To think, feel and behave differently from all of those natural responses requires a supernatural change within us—the same supernatural force that was at work on the cross. Forgiveness is from God and it is supernatural.

2. Forgiveness is not easy. Many people think forgiveness comes easily to those of us who love the Lord. I can tell you personally it doesn’t. “Forgiving those who have wronged us can be a great struggle even for the spiritually mature. Brandt said it took him a year to arrive at the place of forgiving Amber publicly. Forgiveness is raw. It’s messy. But so is life—real life.”

3. Forgiveness is not an emotion. I agree with Ruth when she says, “I think a lot of us assume forgiveness is all about emotions, but it is not defined by how we feel. Yes, our emotions get involved, however, forgiveness is as choice, an act of the will, a decision that once made becomes a process that is practiced. In that way it’s a lot like love—not the emotional high of the sentiment of love, but the decision to commit yourself to the interests of another no matter what comes and than acting on that decision. Forgiveness is all about God—who he is and what he has done on the cross—rather than our feelings.”

4. Forgiveness is not forgetting. “Forgiveness actually involves remembering, not forgetting. In order for us to do the work of forgiving we must be able and willing to examine the situation, discern and tell ourselves the truth about it and make the choice to forgive it. Trying to simply forget a painful situation is entering the unhealthy territory of repressing memories.”

5. Forgiveness is not dependent on the offender’s actions or attitudes.Remember that in forgiving, we are following the example of Jesus, who while hanging on the cross, called out, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Gods forgiveness is not dependent on our good behavior. Following Gods example, we can forgive someone even if they have not changed their ways, even if they have not confessed, even if they have not asked for forgiveness or are flaunting their wrong. Forgiveness is about a decision we make, not that the offender makes.”

6. Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. “Forgiveness means pardoning your offender and asking nothing in return. It is freely given and literally requires nothing of the offender. Does that mean moving on as if nothing happened? Wiping the slate clean? Putting on a happy face? Trusting and making myself vulnerable to the offender once again? No! Forgiveness is unconditional. Reconciliation, on the other hand is conditional. Sometimes it is healthier to remove yourself from a person or situation that is unhealthy.”

hug

So what is forgiveness? In part, Ruth says, “Forgiveness is a process that takes time. Brandt and his family will go back home to St. Lucia where the process of forgiveness will continue. She continues; “When we forgive, we are displaying the character of God. Forgiveness is a sacred sacrifice you offer to God, a gift you give to Him. It is an opportunity to practice a divine quality. It’s about having the opportunity to model and display God’s character to a broken world in desperate need of true forgiveness.

Who knows what will happen to Amber as she serves her time. She will certainly have lots of time to reflect on her actions and on the hug and the words Brandt said to her about giving her life to Christ. Brandt planted a seed that day. Perhaps Amber will meet someone in prison who comes along to water that seed and she will give her life to Christ and make a decision to live for Him. Wouldn’t that be something? Press play below to see the heart of the man Botham Jean who is now present with the Lord.

Botham Jean 9/29/1991 – 9/6/2018

Something to think about…

What say you? What are your thoughts on forgiveness and this case overall? Have you ever been in Brandt’s shoes? 

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

{ 26 comments }

When Harry Met Sally And Kanye West

by Yvonne Chase

Kanye West is a hot topic lately because of his traveling Sunday Service. For those of you who don’t know who Kanye is, he is a rapper, singer, songwriter, music producer, fashion designer and the husband of Kim Kardashian and the father of their four children. A couple of weeks ago, Kanye took his Sunday […]

Read the full article →

Different And Unique Person Not Better!

by Yvonne Chase

A couple of weeks ago I met up with my classmate who was also my scene partner. We became so close that he calls me his black mom and I call him my white son. So as moms do, I wanted to find out about his love life. I met the woman who is now […]

Read the full article →

Spin Class, Forever Is A Long Time And I Salute You

by Yvonne Chase

The first time I took Kevin’s spin class, I was hooked. After the class, I saw him recording a video that led me to inquire about him. During that conversation, I learned we attend the same church. Week after week and Wednesday after Wednesday, I cleared my schedule to make sure I was ready to […]

Read the full article →

Gimme A Break I Sure Deserve It

by Yvonne Chase

I didn’t plan to take a break from blogging, however, that’s exactly what happened. Guess I needed it. A lot goes into uploading a weekly blog post; research that often leads to Bible study then there’s searching for the right images, SEO optimization, tags and of course coming up with a catchy title like this […]

Read the full article →

“Timelines” Only Apply To Women Not Men

by Yvonne Chase

Whose timeline are you following for your life? God? Your parents? Family? Culture? Society? In her new docu-series “Timelines”, Katie Couric profiles four women from around the world and explores the pressures put on women by their families and society to marry. Watch the video below and we’ll talk after: I am Maluca and Maluca […]

Read the full article →

Childless And Single With No Reason To Live

by Yvonne Chase

“People who are single and childless….what do you have to live for? What’s keeping you alive? I honestly want to know.” When I saw those words on Twitter, my first irritated response was, what kind of question is that? I began to reply but then decided to read some of the replies. Boy am I […]

Read the full article →

Deonna, Matt And Unpopular Opinions

by Yvonne Chase

The new season of Married of First Sight is in full swing and I’m watching. Are you? I have my eye on two couples this season because I personally relate to their stories. First up, Deonna and Greg. When Greg was introduced on the matchmaking special, I tweeted, “I need a Greg in my life; […]

Read the full article →

Adrienne Houghton says, “Church Is Like A Hospital”

by Yvonne Chase

Have you ever been sick and went to a hospital? Why did you go? Unfortunately, I have been to the hospital/ER and in the hospital more times than I care to remember. With each stay, my goal was to get better as quickly as possible. That’s why I went; to get better, not remain the […]

Read the full article →

Dying Is A Part Of Living Single And Marriage

by Yvonne Chase

Who’s going to pull the plug for you God forbid you end up on life support? That’s a question I Yvonne Chase as a childless single woman in this world has to answer because dying is a part of living. It’s fresh on my mind because John Singleton died last Monday at the young age […]

Read the full article →