They Didn't Deserve Forgiveness
BROKEN HOME: On his latest CD, Behind the Musik: A Boy Named Jonah, KJ–52 raps about his childhood and includes interviews with his parents—which is amazing, because for years, KJ hardly even talked to them.
Even though his parents divorced when he was 9, KJ was angry about it for a very long time. "I had a lot of held–in anger," he says. "I would just be normal and then if someone said the wrong thing to me, I would just explode. And the next thing I knew, I'd be in the principal's office."
THE BLAME GAME: For years, KJ blamed his anger on his parents. They are the ones who got a divorce, he thought. They caused this. But now he knows he had a part in his rage too. "It was easy to play the victim, to use my parents' divorce as an excuse," he says. "It was easy to think, I can act this way because of what happened. Now, I'm not saying I should have denied that something bad happened. It's OK to feel, to mourn and to be angry. But eventually, I had to reach a point of saying, 'I'm not going to dwell on anger or bitterness. I'm going to move forward because I trust God is going to give me the strength to do that.'"
MOVING FORWARD: KJ says the key to moving forward was forgiveness. "What helped me forgive them was finding Proverbs 18:24, which says, 'There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.' For me, that was Christ in my life. I realized that if God could forgive me for all the things I'd done, then surely he could give me the strength to forgive my parents. That really pulled me through."
LETTING GO: After forgiving his parents, KJ still had to learn how to really love them again, something he eventually learned to do. He realized that God loves him no matter what he does—and he should love others that way, too. He says his relationship with his mom and dad is getting better all the time.
"Even when you have the right to be angry, it's not always right to exercise that anger. It's so much better to walk in love with somebody than to walk in hate or anger. It got to the point where I had to choose to say, 'God, I'm going to do what you tell me to do, because that's what you want—even when it's hard.'"
Copyright © 2006 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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