The two signs of a true Christian

In my life, there still are people whom I find hard to forgive. But when I pray for them even when it’s difficult, when I pray for their success and well-being, I find the peace to face them, to love them, to forgive them, and to walk with them.

I remember a story about how the early Christians were recognized by other people.

They were not recognized through their knowledge or understanding of the Scripture or through their religious acts. They were recognized through how they loved and how they forgave.

St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, died saying what Jesus said at the cross:

“As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them; and when he said this, he fell asleep.” — Acts 7:59-60

At the end of his life, St. Stephen prayed for his persecutors.

Like the early Christians, Jesus was known for His love and for His forgiveness:

“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” — Matthew 5:44

The two signs of whether or not we are true Christians are if we know how to love and if we know how to forgive — especially those who have hurt us.

Are there people in your life whom you still haven't forgiven? Like what Jesus said, pray for them.

In my life, there still are people I find hard to forgive — not because they hurt me, but because they hurt the people I love.

But when I pray for them even when it’s difficult, when I pray for their success and well-being, I find the peace to face them, to love them, to forgive them, and to walk with them.

Pray for them from the heart and you will learn to forgive them.