Thursday, October 3, 2019

Brandt Jean 18, Brother of Botham Jean Shows Forgiveness to Amber Guyger

To err is human and to forgive is divine. We have most likely heard this quote from Alexander Pope many times. It is very true. The Lord and teacher, Jesus Christ stressed forgiveness throughout His ministry on earth. In Matthew 6 verse 14 He tells us, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you," and in another place (Matthew 18:22), He tells us to forgive seventy times seven. Forgiveness frees us from the effects of sin. What I mean by this is that forgiveness prevents us from being bitter, angry and vengeful. The natural response from fallen man is to be angry and take revenge when someone wrongs us. God's way is different and more civil. We have to forgive. This is why forgiveness is divine. It can be seen as defying human logic and this is because logic is finite and does not understand all things.

Many of us have been following the news on former police officer Amber Guyger. Guyger was charged, convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison recently for killing Botham Jean in his own apartment. The disgraced former police officer entered Jean's apartment believing it to be her own. Upon seeing Botham Jean, she thought he was a burglar and took out her service weapon firing at him several times. Jean passed away from the gunshots. Guyger is seen on police bodycam looking distressed after the shooting. However, she is also seen texting on a phone. During the trial, it was brought up that she was sexting with another police offer who is married and she was having an affair with.

Despite this, the brother of Botham Jean made a display at the sentencing which shocked many and brought Guyger and even the judge to tears. Brandt Jean, only 18-years-old took the witness stand and spoke to the woman who killed his brother. He said to her, "I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you. I love you just like anyone else and I'm not going to hope you rot and die. I personally want the best for you. I wasn't going to say this in front of my family, I don't even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you because I know that's exactly what Botham would want for you. Give your life to Christ. I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you." The courtroom attendees gasped in shock. Then he asked the judge if he could hug Guyger. The judge granted permissions and Brandt proceeded to approach her and hugged her. Both embraced for a good while as Guyger broke down in tears. The judge also began to tear up.

This was indeed a remarkable moment. This young man is truly a follower of Christ's words on forgiveness. The gesture is not one that many would take. Only those who truly believe in Jesus Christ and His words on forgiveness can do this. I applaud the young man for this. While I disagree with the "not going to jail" part, I do agree that we must forgive. Forgiveness does not mean that one must erase justice. We all have to pay for our wrongs. On social media, many took to the hashtag #Forgiveness to both praise Brandt and to politicize his gesture. It is disturbing reading the comments condemning the act of forgiveness. This shows the bitterness some people have. Others tried to put a racial spin to the event describing it as "tomfoolery." See the Hashtag:

We have a lot of work to do to Christianize this world which is falling back to Paganism.  Look at all the tweets attacking the act of forgiveness and trivializing the event turning it into a race issue.

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