Jessica Eaves offered forgiveness after a man who stole her wallet in an Oklahoma store earlier this month. She suspected that the man had taken her wallet when she was shopping, and confronted him about it in a bold and loving way, offering to pay for his groceries.
"I know what it's like to be broke," said Eaves, a mother of four, in an interview with CNN. She wrote on Facebook that she noticed that the man, who was the only other person on the aisle, walked by her when she bent down to look at some lemonade. She noticed that her wallet was missing soon afterward, and approached him about it in a crowded aisle.
"I'll give you a choice," Eaves told the man, after explaining to him that she suspected that he had taken her wallet - "If you hand it to me now, we'll go to the front and I'll pay for your groceries ... Or you can lie and say it wasn't you and keep it in your pocket, and I'll take your picture, send it to the police department and everyone I know, and you'll be in jail in two hours. If you hand it to me, though, I'll forgive you right now, the way Jesus forgave me."
The thief reached into his pocket and pulled out her wallet. He gave it back to her, and Eaves kept her word - the two went to the front of the store, and she paid for the man's groceries. He started crying and asked Eaves why she was doing this for him - she responded, "Jesus forgives me every single day."
The man thanked her profusely and told her that he would never forget what she had done for him that night.
"What I did that day should be the norm," says Eaves, whose faith in Christ has compelled her to offer compassion and forgiveness to others. Why? Because God did the same for us. He didn't wait for us to "clean ourselves up" before He came to earth to save us. Jesus chose to die in our stead, and offers us salvation - the forgiveness of all of our sins - freely. This blood-bought redemption is something that we have not earned, and it is promised through Christ to anyone who would humble themselves, acknowledge their need for His forgiveness, and call upon His name for salvation. Romans 5:6-8 says:
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (English Standard Version).