Forgiven to Forgive Part 1 - by Jose Flores
Have you ever had a hard time forgiving others? I always have. It's difficult because our hearts are broken. We are prideful when it comes to forgiveness. Satan uses this to kill and destroy us (John 10:10).
Unforgiveness will destroy you from the inside and take your peace and joy. But love forgives. Isn't that a core belief of our Christianity? God so loved the world… (John 3:16)
I was born in Colombia. When I was five, my brother and I we're playing in the front yard when we noticed men coming out of their limousine with guns! We ran, screaming for help, hoping to make it inside before they caught us. Once we were inside one of the men grabbed my brother, picked him up and put a gun to his head. The man told mom that they were looking for my dad. They said if Dad didn’t show his face within two days they would return and kill us.
I remember when these men took my little sister, never to see her again. My dad was with the Colombian cartel.
We had to flee and come to New York. Because of my experiences in Colombia, I was unable to concentrate in school. I had a lot of bitterness and hatred, and I didn't care about anyone. I didn't know Jesus at that time, but what I do know is that he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
I remember getting involved with the wrong crowd and doing crazy things. I didn't know if I would die in a shootout or end up in jail. I tried to commit suicide twice. At age 13, I put a gun to my head, but I just couldn't do it. During my second attempt at suicide, I took pills, but nothing happened. Praise God
My turning point came 16 years ago when I became a Christian and confessed with my mouth that I am a Sinner. (1John 1:9).
Despite my past Jesus forgave all my sins! The great news is Jesus was working in my life, causing people to see me as a different person. I began helping others and loving them. God's words are true. I am a new creation (2nd Corinthians 5:17).
As a Christian, I always wanted to hear from God. I wanted God's peace. I had a burning desire inside of me to speak to others about God. Although I was forgiven, my past would not allow me to move forward with Jesus because I was unable to forgive. But there’s more to this story. Stay tuned for Part II of Forgiven to Forgive!