On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot as he left the Washington, D.C. Hilton hotel. The 40th President of the United States was quickly pushed into his limo and driven to George Washington University Hospital. The Reagan Diaries, the only in-print daily journal of a U.S. president, was just released this year and covers some of the details about that fateful encounter with the would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. According to his diary, Ronald Reagan prayed that the “lost soul” who shot him “would find his way back to the fold.”

I doubt there are any of us who can claim a bullet lodged in the lung from someone who set out to do us in. However, there are plenty of us who could attest to an injury that hurt as though we had been shot—maybe not one inflicted by a gun, but a wound resulting from hurtful words or an act of injustice. Or maybe we haven’t been “shot”—rather, we could be the ones wielding the weapon.

Whether we are the ones who need to OFFER forgiveness, or the ones who need to ASK forgiveness, we would do well to remember what President Reagan wrote in his diary concluding the events of that day: “Whatever happens now, I owe my life to God and will try to serve Him in every way I can.” No wonder the guy was such a respected leader.

Don’t lose any time. Consider making things right…right away!

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matt. 5:44 NKJV)

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By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor