The Forgiveness of a Child
It isn't easy to love and forgive someone who has hurt you. But faith makes it possible. And we see this in the story of a young girl in the Bible who loved and forgave someone who hurt her.
At one point in the history of God's people, the nation of Aram invaded the nation of Israel. During the invasion, the commander of the Aramean army took some of the people of Israel and made them slaves.
One of these slaves was a young girl. She had plenty of reasons to be sad and angry. She had been taken away from her home. She had to work for someone she did not know. Her family members were probably either killed or taken to be slaves for other people during the invasion. And Naaman, the commander of the army, was the one responsible for all of it.
But God had a plan to use this girl. He had given her great faith, so much faith that she was able to love and forgive Naaman and to want the best for him even though he had made her a slave to his wife. She knew how much God loved people, and she wanted Naaman to know it, too.
That's why she told Naaman's wife that Naaman should go see God's prophet Elisha...
One day the girl said to her mistress, "I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy." 2 Kings 5:3
You see, Naaman was sick, and this girl wanted him to be healed. She knew God could do it. She knew Elisha the prophet could help. But most amazingly, she knew God loved her enemy and wanted her to love him, too. And she did.
Naaman went to see Elisha, and he was healed of his leprosy. But Naaman received more than healing. He also received the gift of faith.
Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel...From now on I will never again offer burnt offerings or sacrifices to any other god except the LORD." 2 Kings 5:15-17
Because of this girl's forgiveness, Naaman became a new person. His body AND his soul were healed. That's what forgiveness can do.
And that's what the faith of a child can do.
Read Matthew 5:43-48
In this passage, Jesus tells his listeners to love their enemies. How does the girl in Naaman's household show us what this looks like? What is the ultimate goal of loving our enemies?
Create a piece of art based on the idea of forgiveness. You might write the word FORGIVENESS in fancy letters or use the letters to make a shape that suggests forgiveness. Or, you might create a painting or drawing showing the girl forgiving Naaman. Use your imagination and creativity!
Think about someone you might need to forgive and ask God to give you the faith you need to love and forgive.