Forgiveness brings healing for those that have to forgive not for the one they are forgiving. There is a say “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting on the other person to die.” You are only hurting yourself when you refuse to forgive someone.”
Steve Stephens, the “Facebook Killer” who live-streamed the murder of an elderly man named Robert Godwin Sr. on the social media platform fatally shot himself after a police pursuit. He couldn’t stand up and be held accountable for his crime so, he took the easy way out.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said police in Pennsylvania received a tip that Stephens’ car was seen in a McDonald’s parking lot near the city of Erie. When officers found the white Ford Fusion, they pursued it for two miles before they forced the car into a spin.
Chief Calvin Williams said: “Steve Stephens then took his own life. We would have preferred it not ended this way.”
However, in interviews with CNN before Stephens’ death, the family of Robert Godwin Sr. who was killed on Easter Sunday, said they forgave Stephens — because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
When CNN host Don Lemon asked Godwin’s former wife, Dorothy Crumpton for a message to finished the interview, she decided to quote from the Bible’s most important passage — John 3:16.
Crumpton said: “OK since I got the last words…For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’”
Crumpton also said she hoped Stephens wouldn’t kill himself or be killed by the police, because “at the end of the day Jesus died for (Stephens’) sins, too, just like he died for mine.”
Godwin’s other family members shared similar thoughts. His daughter Tammy said: “I just want people to know that he was a good man. And he was a good father and he was a family man. And he was a good grandfather. He would do anything for anybody.”
“Give us closure, just turn yourself in,” she added, addressing Stephens. “We don’t hate you. You took something from us and we still don’t hate you.”
Family members of Facebook murder victim offer forgiveness: “You took something from us, we still don’t hate you” https://t.co/YJr62ArOly
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) April 18, 2017
Godwin’s daughter Tonya Godwin Baines said that her father “taught us about God — how to fear God, how to love God, and how to forgive. Each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer.”
She added that while she thought Stephens should face the consequences of his actions, she still forgave him because that is what her father would want.
She said: “My dad would be really proud of us and he would want this from us. He would say, ‘Tonya, forgive him, for they know not what they do.”
The daughter of the Facebook murder victim has a message for the killer: I want him to know that "he's loved by God" https://t.co/1lbr6fXvsX
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 18, 2017
The spirit of God is upon this family and their dad in heaven is rejoicing with the angels. If it gives his family even one moment of solace then so be it. Everyone deals with grief their own way, if forgiveness gives them comfort then it matters little what anyone else thinks.