“No, don’t hate Corrie…”
While in a concentration camp in Germany, Betsie ten Boom was becoming frail. One day while doing heavy manual labor, she kindly said to her guard, “Don’t give me more to do than I am trying to do already, because I am not strong enough to lift these heavy parts.” The guard flashed back, “You don’t decide what you do. I decide.” At that the guard brutally beat Betsie. Corrie ten Boom, her sister, watched and was enraged. When the guard left, Corrie went over to Betsie who now had blood all over her face. Betsie immediately said, “No, don’t hate, Corrie. You must love and forgive.”
Corrie knew that she was unable. That night she went for a walk and told the Lord that she could not forgive “that brutal woman.” The Lord reminded her of a Scripture, “God’s love had been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5) Corrie knew that what she was unable to do, the Lord, in her, was able to do.
She writes, “At that moment, when I was able to forgive, my hatred disappeared. What a liberation! Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. What a liberation when you can forgive.”
– Adapted from Oh How He Loves You, by Corrie ten Boom