The Adventure of Living in the Kingdom of God

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nelson Mandela: A Legacy of Forgiveness

Nelson Mandela, (1918-2013) is easily one of the most iconic figures of our day. Social media has been flooded with people sharing their thoughts and memories of a man who fought against the racial segregation of South African apartheid. Most remember him fondly while many others have found it necessary to point out his failures as a person and as a leader. Regardless of how people feel, the legacy he will likely be remembered most fondly for will be his choice to respond to his mistreatment and imprisonment with forgiveness and seek a path of reconciliation rather than revenge.  Though he certainly had ample justification for responding with vengeance, he responded with grace. In a world hell-bent on asserting their rights and treating people as they were treated, Mandela's pursuit of reconciliation is a picture of what life in the kingdom of God looks like.

"May your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven... Forgive us of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us..." 

I look forward to sharing with my boys about Nelson Mandela and his legacy.

"Forgivness is not forgetting. It's actually remembering - remembering and not using your right to hit back. It's a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don't want to repeat what happened."  
                   ~ Quote from Desmond Tutu (African bishop heavily influenced by his friend and fellow Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela)

1 comment:

  1. I love this perspective Kyle. It always strikes me as poignant that some of his early more violent responses landed him in prison while the forgiveness he exhibited afterward landed him the presidency and gave him the power to change the course of the world. Such a powerful example of forgiveness begs us to follow his lead and celebrate the truly wonderful things that came about because of his life.