In a video on CBN, Brett Lynn, who works as a mechanic in a family owned business in Philadelphia explains how the Holy Spirit stopped him from becoming a stabbing victim.
In 2013, he had just dropped his children off at gymnastics, and he was pulling into the driveway of his home around 6 PM when he noticed someone trying to break into vehicles in the lot of the family business near his home.
Brett got out of his car and confronted the man. But the man immediately reacted when Brett told him to leave. Brett braced for a physical confrontation, but unknown to Brett, the man had a knife and stabbed Brett in gut and then ran off.
At first Brett thought he had been punched but when he grabbed his stomach, he actually felt his intestines. But as the ambulance was taking him to the hospital, the Holy Spirit was already speaking to Brett about needing to forgive the man.
The man who stabbed Brett had graduated from Brett’s high school, and had worked several years before being laid off and falling on hard times.
Brett knew he needed to forgive because of the forgiveness God had given Him (Mark 11:25). And in his testimony, Brett explained what happened when he faced the man in the courtroom:
“Graciously the judge allowed me to address him (the attacker) personally. I essentially told him, I don’t want him to be in prison any longer than the state deems necessary. It ought not be on account of me, because he doesn’t owe me anything anymore. I told the court, the reason I’m forgiving this guy is because Christ has forgiven me for so much more than he had done to me. None of us are righteous, none of us are perfect, none of us are holy. But God is holy. God is infinite. He’s holy, he’s righteous and he’s perfect. My sins are against God, and so my debt is much greater.”
“If we’re Christians and we’ve been forgiven for everything we’ve done then how can we withhold forgiveness?”
Jesus is very clear that we need to forgive, because we have been forgiven much.
But I am also convinced that when we forgive others it can bring emotional healing to us as well. We are told that Jesus came to heal our infirmities and diseases.
17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”[a] (Matthew 8:17 NIV)
The word diseases is pretty straight forward, but the word infirmities, Greek astheneia, refers to weaknesses, frailty or feebleness.
But it not only describes weaknesses in our physical body, but according to Thayer’s Greek dictionary, it also describes weaknesses of our soul or in other words emotional struggles such as worry and fear, feelings of rejection and anger, where we erupt over the slightest provocation.
Unforgiveness is often at the root of anger. And in Jesus’ parable on forgiveness, we see an explosion of anger in the slave who literally had his hands around the throat of a man who owed him a small debt after the king had previously forgiven the slave a massive debt (Matthew 18:28).
Jesus wants to take up our infirmities, literally remove these emotional weakness from us, but in order for that to happen we must let them go. I believe this release comes as we forgive those who are the source of the emotional wounding.
And if we don’t forgive, it is easy to fall into a victim mentality, where we believe the whole world is against us. Without forgiving anger, resentment and even fear could have gained access to Brett’s heart. When he forgave, Brett was no longer a stabbing victim, he was an overcomer. He was the victor in this assault.