- What makes a person, or a person in a particular situation, “worthy of forgiveness”? (Answers will vary but may include: the person got dragged into someone else’s poor choices; the person is genuinely sorry; the person made mistakes. If anyone mentions that everyone is suitable for forgiveness all the time because of Jesus, accept but do not comment on the answer.)
A woman in Ohio, Samantha, Davis was arrested for drug possession and causing a fatal car accident that killed a woman and her daughter. At the court hearing for Samantha Davis, the victim’s family member expressed forgiveness for what Samantha had done.
Play the following video clip for your students [3:51; stop at 1:36]:
Court Cam: Late Victim’s Family Forgives Woman Who Caused Deadly Car Accident | A&E
- What do you think went on in Everett’s mind and heart in order for him to reach the conclusion to forgive? (Possible answers may include: maybe he thought back to when he was young and would want another chance; maybe he felt joy to be alive and wanted to share that; maybe he felt the physical pain and was angry but genuinely cares about people; etc.)
- When you are in a situation where someone has wronged you, is it easy or difficult to forgive? Explain.
- If Samantha Davis caused another fatal car crash, do you think she would be worthy of forgiveness? Why or why not? (Students may conclude that the first time may have been an accident, but if she does it again she deserves to pay; she might deserve one more chance, but then that’s it; etc.)
- What is your response when someone you have forgiven repeats the same behavior after you forgave him or her the first time? (Your preteens may mention getting mad; deciding not to forgive this time; giving them “three strikes you are out,” etc.)
- After being forgiven by the victim’s family, how do you expect Davis to treat people who hurt her? (Answers will vary; hopefully she will offer forgiveness.)
Forgiving others may sound easy, but in practice it can be difficult. When we are hurt, we may want the person who offended us to pay in some way for the pain we feel. Although it can be challenging, forgiveness is a vital part of a Christian’s life. In today’s lesson, we will get some insight into the importance of forgiveness.