Becoming a Stable Bridge
The murder of George Floyd has left many Christians feeling disheartened, divided, and unsure where to go next in fulfilling their Biblical mandate to heal racial and ethnic divisions. In response, unCUFFED Executive Director John Rusnak facilitated a conversation between three Baltimore City pastors—George Lawson, Antoine Payne, and George Hopkins—to discuss how Christians can build relationships across disparate communities, speak bold truth while practicing empathetic listening, and stand united without uniformity. Click on the "Watch the Forum Video" button to hear their various experiences and thoughts, and learn what Scripture calls us to do in the face of racial division.
The 6 Levels of Forgiveness
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I feel foolish and humiliated by my circumstances but I must forgive myself and take the next best step. Ephesians 1:4 ‘Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.’
I must acknowledge the pain I have caused to those close to me and ask for forgiveness. Psalm 51:3 ‘For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.’
Many of us have been through traumatic events in life. If we hold on to that pain it makes us angry and bitter. You don’t forgive people to let them off the hook, you forgive them so you can move on. Proverbs 29:22 ‘An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.’
As you write your court letter to apologize do it sincerely acknowledging what you have done wrong and plead for forgiveness. James 5:16 ‘Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.’
I am sorry that my actions have damaged the community I live in. Understanding that your actions have a ripple effect that damage the community, the economy, hope and optimism. Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Understanding that your actions have a ripple effect that damage the community, the economy, hope and optimism. Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
I must repent for my sins. This is ultimately why unCUFFED exists, to call you to repentance and forgiveness through Jesus. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When youth are charged as adults in the criminal justice system, unCUFFED staff and volunteers get to know them. We work with detention facilities, businesses, and parents to help youth who are being held in adult facilities transition to the next stage of life. By spending time with these youth and building enduring relationships, unCUFFED seeks the privilege to guide their perspective, show God’s love, and prepare them with skills for an uncertain future. Our goal is to help youth mature, show the community how to help, and work to reduce repeat offenders.
Many boys and girls in Maryland live in turmoil. In their homes, they experience poverty, hunger, abuse, and familial strife. Some do not have a home at all. In their schools, they feel distracted, frustrated, worthless, and unappreciated. On their streets, they witness derelict buildings, record-breaking crime, trauma, and death. The daily challenges they face leave these kids feeling trapped in an existence that holds no promise, no future and no hope. This mindset leads them down dangerous paths, which often leads to incarceration or death.
This is where unCUFFED Ministries comes in, to form relationships with these boys and girls to show them an alternate path that changes their narrative leading to redemption, hope and the love of Jesus Christ.