All posts by bradley

Two Travelers on a Way

This is part of a syndicated series for Lent 2019 with Harvard’s Christian Journal Ichthus. Visit Ichthus at

By Bradley Yam, Saybrook ’21. Bradley is majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics

YOSEF: Greetings! What is a young woman like yourself doing on a road such as this outside the city almost at the tenth hour?
SALOME: I am travelling to my master’s house.
YOSEF: You must know that it is unsafe, ever since the rebellion and the fall of the temple, Rome cannot be counted on to protect these parts. You are carrying a heavy load, let my donkey bear it for as long as our paths cross.
SALOME: I appreciate the offer, but this is a load I must carry by myself.
YOSEF: Do not be afraid, child, she is a steady beast and will not mind. Allow me to lift this for you – What could you be doing with this many wineskins, child? They are all full to the brim, and look very new. The wine smells new as well.
SALOME: Excuse me, sir, it is merely wine for my master’s feast. I must carry it by myself, and be on my way.
YOSEF: Your master’s feast? But today is not a holy day, and if anyone within a five mile radius of here were throwing such a party with this much wine, surely I must have heard of it. […] I have heard reports of a small, fanatical band of blasphemers preaching a new religion, whose practice is to consume wine as if it was the blood of their God and eat bread as if it was his flesh. They call him God, yet he was a man, who lived sometime before the temple fell. You would not happen to have heard of them?
YOSEF: The Roman praetors in this region are looking to weed them out, for they will not bend the knee, the people who follow this way.
SALOME: Sir, I am but a child, and uneducated, I do not know how to answer your questions.
YOSEF: Yet you have more wine on you than you could afford with a years’ wages. It is clear to me that you are a member of this strange cult, for I see that your clothes are worn thin and your hair is unwashed. This cult seems to be especially popular amongst the poor, for I hear that all who join it are compelled to share all they have with each other. Necessarily such a scheme attracts the people with the least to give but the most to gain.
SALOME: Sir, I see that you are a man of letters, from the scrolls on your donkey. I cannot tell you whether I am in a cult, or a new religion. I am but a child, and uneducated, I can only live as faithfully as I can to my God and Savior, Yeshua, who died for me. This wine is for the feast that he instructed.
YOSEF: Do not be afraid, the Romans are suspicious of all people at this time. I will not turn you over, although I find your beliefs strange. How can this man, Yeshua, be a God?
SALOME: I am but a child, I cannot answer fully. But I received this as my first instruction: He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and was buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. But on the third day, as is attested to in the scriptures, he rose again, and appeared to Simon Peter of Jerusalem, and then the Twelve, and then to many more brothers, and even more sisters. How can he not be God, who has the power to raise himself from the grave, never to die again?
YOSEF: Child, surely such an outrageous thing must only be the stuff of the imagination. Your teachers must be hallucinating, or dreaming, or fooling you. The Romans are brutal, efficient and excellent executioners. I have never seen anyone come back from a crucifixion alive, and many of my own friends and brothers were victim to this cruel practice.
SALOME: The twelve are fishermen, farmers and day-laborers. They are practical men. My uncle was also a fisherman. He stands all day on the tiny boat riding the swells and currents of the sea, ever unmoored, looking for the silver flashing glint in the water. If I know anything, it is that fishermen are hard-headed, suspicious, attentive people. They are not dreamers, and they do not take anything for granted. It would be easier to persuade a Roman teacher than a Jewish fisherman about this Yeshua!
YOSEF: I have not met these twelve, what do I know of their testimony?
SALOME: Yeshua ate, and drank, and talked, and walked with many others. Some of them were my friends, my family. Surely they cannot all be dreaming.
YOSEF: Then they must be fooling you. This part of the world is quickly becoming enveloped in a shadow. Rome is quickly becoming more brutal, less tolerant. All of our futures are uncertain, it is natural to invent wishful thinking.
SALOME: Sir, I am but a child, and uneducated, but I pray you do not say such things. Who would give their life for a lie they made up themselves? If Yeshua did not rise, then why would my own adopted mother refuse to recant at the cost of her blood? She always told stories about eating with Yeshua in the days before the temple fell, she said it was like sitting in the radiance of God.
YOSEF: I am sorry to hear about your loss, child. I have also lost friends to the Romans.
SALOME: Many who have claimed to see Jesus risen from the dead have also fallen. Sir, none of them recanted. I cannot help but believe their testimony written in their blood.
YOSEF: I see, child. What will become of your faith if the body of this Yeshua is discovered? The Romans are putting out a high price for it. More than three hundred pieces of silver.
SALOME: It will not be discovered, for Yeshua my Lord and his body have ascended into heaven, like Elijah in the days of old.
YOSEF: The Romans are saying that the twelve stole the body.
SALOME: It was Roman guards at the tomb, was it not? Surely fishermen could not have overcome centurions, and if Rome cares so much about finding the body, and it has eyes and ears in so many places that it could crush the rebellion, how could it be that Rome still has not found it?
YOSEF: You are a child, but you are perceptive.
SALOME: I am only being obedient to my Lord, he is as true to me as you are, standing before me.
YOSEF: How can this be? Have you seen him?
SALOME: Not while he has walked this earth, for I am but a child, but in a vision as I was walking along a road. He instructed me to leave my town and find a gentile woman, Apphia, and ask about the name of Yeshua. She adopted me into her home, and taught me about the way.
YOSEF: I have heard about these visions. One of the teachers of my teachers, Saul of Tarsus, was zealous for the LORD. He was persecuting the people of the way in Damascus when it is said that he received a vision himself. Instead of persecuting them, he joined them. It is still a mystery till this day why he chose to give up his status and prestige, everything he owned, and all his authority, to join this strange new way. He was one of the most learned men of his time, and sadly perished at Roman hands on account of this new way.
SALOME: The man whom you call Saul of Tarsus, my adopted mother called Paul, and in her youth would often correspond with him via letters. He taught extensively in the region, preaching the gospel of Yeshua, opening the scriptures up to us. Our hearts burned as we listened.
YOSEF: Saul of Tarsus taught of Yeshua from the scriptures, you say? Is there anyone who has heard this teaching?
SALOME: I am on my way to my master’s house, where we study the scriptures, and partake in the bread and the wine of the body and blood of our Lord Yeshua.
YOSEF: I will take you to your master’s house, for the wine is heavy, and the road unsafe, and you are but a child. But lead me on the way.



Good Things

This is part of a syndicated series for Lent 2019 with Harvard’s Christian Journal Ichthus. Visit Ichthus at

By Bradley Yam, Saybrook ’21. Bradley is majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

            I am more blessed than I dare imagine. I am blessed with a loving family. I am blessed with generous, kind, and understanding friends. I am blessed with a place of privilege at Yale. I am blessed with many good things. It is possible that I am blessed with so many things I could hardly list them here even if I wanted to. And yet, why do I still anxiously scramble from place to place, why do I constantly fret and worry about the future, and why am I often dissatisfied with what I have?

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

            The light shines brighter in the darkness. Water tastes best in the desert. It is easier to choose the better thing amongst bad options, than when surrounded by good but deceptive ones. Christianity is often chalked up to a kind of asceticism; a denial of the self for the sake of heavenly rewards. If this is true, then it is only the most basic of truths, for what becomes of the heavenly rewards when heaven must eventually meet earth? Must they not also incarnate, as our Lord Jesus has?

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

            St Matthew’s formulation seems superficially transactional. If we seek first the Kingdom, the things of God, then we will get everything else we want. Let’s disabuse ourselves of this notion. If we seek the Kingdom for the sake of these other good things, then we are actually seeking these other good things, and instrumentalizing the Kingdom. In this case, we get neither the Kingdom nor the good things. To truly receive good things, we must earnestly seek the Kingdom for its goodness itself.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”

            The Kingdom seems abstract enough, but perhaps this is how we tell when we have found it: when our attention on the Kingdom is healthy, then we will suddenly become alive to the true goodness of the good things in our lives. C.S. Lewis, in his essay “First Things”, said: “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first & we lose both first and second things.” We seek the Kingdom because its goodness shines forth from all the good things that are already around us, and by seeking it, we receive the ability to enjoy the good things we already possess. These good things shine in their roles as sub-luminaries, declaring and announcing the final, ultimate, singular, perfect Good: The Good King himself, returning to reclaim his Kingdom.

Mourning Christchurch

This is part of a syndicated series for Lent 2019 with Harvard’s Christian Journal Ichthus. Visit Ichthus at

By Bradley Yam, Saybrook ’21. Bradley is majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics.

Proverbs 6:17
Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

Lamentations 2:10
The elders of the daughter of Zion
sit on the ground in silence;
they have thrown dust on their heads
and put on sackcloth;
the young women of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads to the ground.

It is obvious that we must mourn something as horrific as the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. God hates the murder of the innocent, it is an offense against his image which exists and grants dignity to every human being, regardless of religion, nationality or politics. It is appropriate that we rend our hearts in common humanity and ask ourselves to sit in reverential silence at the smearing of something so sacred such as human life.

Yet we must not stop at mourning this one incident. It will be all too easy to get up tomorrow and continue unchanged with life as it is for us, because that atrocity happened too far away, or too long ago, to feel real to us after the media storm inevitably moves on to something else. What is an appropriate attitude to the global scale of tragedy we are now experiencing? How do we reconcile the fact that the connectivity that allows us to access these horrors and mourn for them, are also in part responsible for the spread of radicalization and violence, and was also a tool in the hands of a murderer to publicly broadcast his violence?

Let us hold off on the temptation to reach for a solution, or an easy answer, for I doubt that there is one. If we were to err, if I were to err, it would be on the side of missing the larger forces of evil and division at work in society, forces that daily inflict violence on the innocent. So let us mourn for these victims, and let us mourn for our common humanity. We are not just broken individuals, we are broken nations, broken peoples, and a broken world. Let us mourn, and pray for justice to come swiftly, not of our own making, but from a God who is able to heal us, as individuals, and altogether.

Silence and Solitude

This is part of a syndicated series for Lent 2019 with Harvard’s Christian Journal Ichthus. Visit Ichthus at

By Bradley Yam, Yale Saybrook ’21. Bradley is majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics

William Temple: “Religion is what you do with your solitude.”

Most of us cannot stand the nakedness of silence. When a person is entirely alone, they are naked before themselves. When a person is alone, they must find some way of dealing with what they find when they are stripped of all other affirmation and dignity afforded to them by their society and their accomplishments. They have to come to peace with themselves or find a way to take their mind off the unrelenting, unmitigated fact of our existence, the bareness of our souls, the alienation of our selves. The first reaction to silence is fear.

So, we have found the means to flee permanently from silence and solitude, extending the world of words, pictures, videos and digitalized society into every corner of our lives. The encroachment is subtle. It hides under the illusion of self control, but it has exiled solitude, the silent sage, from some of our existences. What goes with it? Perhaps just a sentiment. Perhaps the ability to think for ourselves. Perhaps the whole world as we have known it.

Then again, many who have lived by the rhythms of silence and solitude tell us that it is hardly being alone or quiet at all, in fact, they tell us that to be silent is only to draw the curtain on the real voice of the world: the roaring heavens, the hum of the earth, the worship of life all around. And even these things, only a harmony to the song of the angelic beings, and the voice of God himself.

Of course this sweet chorus is unbearable. It reminds us of the country that we have never visited, the ocean we have never swum in, the song that lives in our bones but we have never sung. It is unbearable because we feel our entire existence drawn to it, and yet it feels more distant than a memory of a dream. If only we could dismiss it as a mere dream, but its doggedness seizes us. It has the quality not of a dream, but a memory of when we were awake. We can’t quite shake the feeling that we might be asleep, and yet we know not how to wake.

This thing that we don’t have a name for, this thing that is revealed by silence: its impossibility is terrifying, its necessity is excruciating. Our only hope of escape, the satisfaction of a thousand, million other smaller desires. Cover the silence with a thousand other sounds, but underneath it all the silence remains. We will not escape any more than a man who dresses himself to forget about being hungry.

Our only real hope is to learn to stand in the silence. What does it take not to protest our innocence, what does it take not to grovel or beg for mercy? What does it take not to be distracted? What does it take not to condemn ourselves? What does it take to be still and know that he is God? We cannot find out unless we trust the love of God enough to listen out for it.

The Joy of Repentance

This is part of a syndicated series for Lent 2019 with Harvard’s Christian Journal Ichthus. Visit Ichthus at

by Bradley Yam, SY’ 21.

“in thought, in word, in deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.”

When the time for confession comes in our Church service, a weighty silence hangs over the congregation. I close my eyes, and bow my head. Within seconds, I feel displaced, I feel my alienation. It was a sense that I have not done what I was supposed to do, I did not say what I should have said or even meant to say, I did not even think what I ought to have thought. I am assaulted by the knowledge that I am not the man I could be, not the man I should be.

“we are truly sorry
And repent of all our sins”

My mouth dries up, and my throat constricts. I stubbornly cling to the pew, as if choosing to confide in God at this moment would somehow sweep me away in a flood of condemnation and guilt. Errant thoughts flittered into my consciousness: “Don’t confess right now, who’s going to believe that you’re truly sorry? Why don’t you try harder, be a better human being next week, and then we’ll believe you.”

“For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past;”

The weight of sin was massive and oppressive. In the moment, something clicks. “What you owe, I have already paid.” I confess and repent, turning my heart to God, and am flooded with relief and unspeakable joy.  I still knew that I was not where I should be, but I no longer feel alone. I am being guided, shepherded to a truer home.

“and grant that we may serve you
in newness of life
to the glory of your name.”

I am ready to run the race for another day with perseverance, striving to love and serve, to do justice and walk humbly before the Lord.

Thanos and Theodicy: Why don’t we just fix the world? (Part 1)

by Bradley Yam, SY ’21

Imagine that you are given a glove that granted you magical god-like powers over all of human life everywhere. You would only need to snap your fingers, and it would in some way make the world perfect. It would be whatever version of perfect you choose. Minmax human suffering and happiness? Done. Eradicate systemic oppression and inequality? Done. Eliminate scarcity of everything, everywhere? Done!

If this sounds like some purple giant from the latest Marvel’s Avengers movie, and if you knew the plot of the movie, you would be suspicious of this line of questioning. “But we all know that Thanos was crazy, after all, if we had that kind of power, we would surely use it for good. It would be unreasonable, irresponsible not to. After all, isn’t that what being at Yale is all about? Making the world a better place? Fixing the injustices of the world?” In fact, this is also one of our perennial gripes with the idea of an all-powerful, loving God, that he hasn’t already fixed the world. This is theodicy: answering why is the world bad if God is good. I am going to argue that if we take the question of Thanos’ glove seriously, we might not have a solution to theodicy, but we will ask the question of theodicy differently.

For the uninitiated, in the latest Marvel Avengers blockbuster, Thanos gains the Infinity Gauntlet, the glove grainting sovereignty over Soul, Reality, Mind, Space, Time and Power. The wielder of the glove gains god-like dominion over the universe. Our purple giant Thanos uses this unrestrained power to exterminate half of all life in the universe in order to end the suffering caused by overpopulation. You can complain about Thanos’ failure at Economics 101, but Marvel chose to portray him as basically altruistic. Thanos, unlike almost every other character on the good side, sacrifices his emotions in favour of his ideals. He sets aside his own interests, for the sake of what he thinks is the higher good. Regardless of how we feel about those ideals, we are led into admiring his methodical and relentless pursuit of his goals over the last gazillion movies. Now this is the kind of pursuit that Yalies can resonate with.

Thanos’ unyielding and unswerving determination confronts us with the potential problems with our own expectations of the perfect world. We all think we could do better than Thanos, but we seldom stop to consider that in his position, we might do far, far worse. That the world is not yet prefect is clear to everyone. Yet, if we press the the more rigorous flipside of the theodical question, “what is a reasonable version of the best possible world?”, there is unlikely to be any consensus at all! We might all agree that a marginal increase in freedom, a marginal increase in equality, and a marginal decrease in suffering are all good things, but our imagination fails us when we try to take the limit of those ideals. All our utopias turn into dystopias. We trust the old adage that good things can be taken too far. We criticize Thanos, but cannot really offer the perfect alternative.

Since it seems impossible to concur on what to do with Thanos’ glove, we ought to ask the questions related to theodicy with at least a sense of our lack of complete knowledge. The question: “Why does evil exist?” is still valid, because it is apparent that evil does indeed exist! But that hardly puts the nail in the coffin for the an all-powerful, benevolent God – because we ourselves are unable to articulate what exactly we would expect an all-powerful, benevolent God to do! In effect, we are left with a mystery: we don’t want things to stay as they are, but we do not know what we want them to become. If we are seekers of the truth, then we need to confront that mystery, not use it to explain God away.

We will think about what that mystery suggests to us in the second half (yet to be published) part of this article. For now, as privileged and empowered people, we need to be conscious that of our desire “to seek, to strive, and not to yield” after our ideals. We only imagine that we might do good, but we are all always wearing Thanos’ glove- will you snap?


A Case for Rebuke

By Bradley Yam, Class of ’21

There is one way of reading the Bible that involves nodding to the parts of the text that affirm a pre-supposed moral framework and lightly skimming over the parts that seem puzzling, culturally irrelevant or simply difficult. This is merely an exercise in self-congratulatory confirmation bias. Addressing these systematic omissions – that are only too easy for the lay reader to make – is a task for a longer and more thorough piece of writing. Instead, I want to focus our attention on one topic that is easy to assume we have understood, but actually challenges our thinking and living far more than we realize: “Rebuke”.

First, a few brief observations about how rebuke appears in the scriptures.

1) Rebuking fellow believers is always given as an imperative. It is not a suggestion, or helpful advice, it is a key part of our duty to brothers and sisters in the church. (1 Timothy 5:20, Matthew 18:15-17, Titus 2:15)

2) Rebuke always occurs with the intent of restoration to a standard of righteousness, it is often paired with the command to exhort (2 Timothy 4:2, Galatians 6:1, Titus 2:15)

3) Rebuke demands gentleness, patience and truth (in other words, complete Love) on the part of the rebuker (Luke 17:3-4, 2 Timothy 4:2, Galatians 6:1) .

It is clear from a brief survey of the Scriptures that rebuke has an incredibly prominent role in Christian life. Rebuke functions as a process through which moral truth is preached, sin is uncovered, repentance is expected, sanctification happens on a spiritual level and restoration happens on a social level. In other words, rebuke is hard. It is extraordinarily hard. We might ignore it precisely because it is so hard. And if we find ourselves rebuking someone and finding it easy, the likelihood is, we are probably the ones in need of rebuke. It is hard because rebuke is the loving use of verbal force for the purposes of sanctification and righteousness.

Unfortunately, a mental picture of rebuke that involves both force and love might appear difficult or even completely alien to us, because there are far too few good examples of rebuking and being rebuked. Instead, we are used to being shamed into obedience, and penalized into agreement; paternalistic means of compliance arising out of a misunderstanding of true biblical hierarchy. What we suffer, we then go on to inflict on others. Or perhaps, we retreat into a comfortable hesitancy and false-tolerance that doesn’t demand anything of us or our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In other words, rebuke is not just calling someone out, it definitely isn’t scolding someone for annoying you, and it clearly cannot be shaming someone for disagreeing with you. The call to rebuke is far loftier and far higher than that – it is a call to love someone so radically that you are willing to enter into the discomfort of risking your relationship and good-standing with them in order to bring them further from sin and closer to God. Even if you were hurt, rebuke involves forgiveness and love. Even if you are angry, rebuke involves peace and gentleness. Even if you are right, rebuke involves God’s justice, not yours. Rebuke is not self-congralutory, it is self-sacrificial.

Because rebuke is loving, there are many conditions we must pay attention to in terms of who, when and how to rebuke. Because rebuke is the use of verbal force, we must examine ourselves to know how and why we are rebuking, to ensure we do not fall into error ourselves (Galatians 6:1) Kevin DeYoung provides some excellent guidelines to properly rebuke in his three-part TGC article:

Instead of reproducing DeYoung’s good work, I will focus on interpreting what the simultaneous unwillingness and overzealousness to “rebuke” reveals for us in the Church. Full disclosure: such an analysis is necessarily speculative, but the hope is that we will be more aware to the temptations that are before us, and in understanding them, we would be able to give or receive rebuke to prevent ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ from falling into sin.

Our Excuses:

1) We fail to rebuke because we fail to love others.

If we find ourselves constantly worrying about what others will think about us or if we will continue to be liked, included or admired, perhaps we value our own comfort and reputation more than the well-being of our brothers and sisters. There is no such thing as unloving rebuke, because all rebuke comes out of a genuine desire for the flourishing of the Church. The flourishing of the Church is synonymous with the holiness of the Church. If we want to be liked more than we want others to be holy, then we probably love ourselves more than we love them.

If we find ourselves unable to rebuke because we surround ourselves with merely social relationships in the Church that do not involve spiritual realities, then we short-change ourselves from the fellowship and community that the Scripture calls us to. If we are comfortable treating church like a social activity, then we do not love the Church enough to be vulnerable with them, or love the Church enough to build deep relationships with them.

2) We fail to rebuke because we fail to love God and his righteousness.

If we are perpetually comfortable with everything that happens in the Church and with our fellow believers, and we are able to somehow justify that with a casual indifference, then we fail to understand God’s righteousness and its deep necessity in our lives. We need to know the Scripture, to be convicted of its truth, and to have a vision of the Church – we do not need this vision to be perfect, or claim to know the full absolute truth, but we must persist in the process of mutual correction.

Perhaps we do care about God, and we do care about our believers, but we have never taken the time to study the word to be convicted enough to engage in rebuke. In this case, we have failed to equip ourselves with the knowledge that enables practical love.

On Overzealousness:

1) We are too quick to “rebuke” when something makes us uncomfortable.

If we rush to rebuke before we consult Scripture to fix the grounds of our contention, then we replace the authority of the text with our own personal barometer of comfort. If we persist in this behavior, we do not love the word, or our neighbor, we only care about own moral sentiments. But we do not care enough to verify these sentiments.

2) We are too quick to “rebuke” when we feel self-righteous.

The last thing we should use rebuke for is a nasty means of self-justification. We can easily make ourselves feel superior and better about our own moral failings by pointing out the (supposedly worse) moral failings of others. The truth is, rebuke ought to expose equally our own failure to adhere to the standard that we are exhorting others to, and more often than not, rebuke is accompanied by repentance of our own.

And Why Should We Care:

We must think about rebuke because of what it reveals about the shallowness of our religion. In addition, in an time where people everywhere struggle to preach the truth in love, rebuke offers us a paradigm of both truth and love that is fully coherent, and helps us understand our areas of growth. I know I need to grow in this as well.


1 Timothy 5:20 ESV

As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

2 Timothy 4:2 ESV

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Galatians 6:1 ESV

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Titus 2:15 ESV

Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Matthew 18:15-17 ESV

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Luke 17:3-4 ESV

Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”