Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:34 NIV)
I’ve come to the realization that oftentimes, people who hurt us really don’t know what they’re doing. I believe that for the most part, they’re truly acting in ignorance. Realizing this truth will help us to forgive those who hurt us. After all, how can we be mad at people who don’t know that they’ve hurt us? This was Jesus’ attitude towards those who crucified Him. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” He prayed while hanging on the cross. Jesus, who “knew all people” (John 2:24). He could look past the offence and understand their actions. The apostle Peter also referred to the crucifixion as an act of ignorance on the part of the Jews. He told the Jews, “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders” (Acts 3:17). Stephen understood that the people who were stoning him were acting in ignorance. That’s why while being stoned, he, too, could cry out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). So the next time someone hurts you, evaluate the situation because more often than not, people really don’t know what they’re doing.
Understanding people’s behaviour allows us to be at peace with them.