What Frodo Teaches Us about Forgiveness

by Debbie Wilson

Some people have no conscience. The woman who stole your husband parades around the family reunion showing off your grandchild! The man who stabbed you in the back preaches unity and love to your team. They wronged you. Now they pour acid in your wound and dare you to flinch.

How do we handle such injuries? Biblical wisdom and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings show the importance of forgiveness.

Biblical Guidance

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: 

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:14, 17-21, NIV)

When I’m reeling from being wronged, I’m not thinking about how to bless my enemy. I’m thinking more about how to blast them. So why does the Bible admonish us to do good to them? So that we won’tbe overcome by evil.Enter Lord of the Rings.

Frodo and the Ringwraiths 

In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo the hobbit accepts the daunting task of taking the ring of power to the realm of the Dark Lord to destroy it and its power. The Dark Lord hears of this and sends a group of Ringwraiths to seize the ring and destroy Frodo. Ringwraiths are “the Enemy’s most terrible servants; darkness went with them, and they cried with the voices of death.”[1]

After a Ringwraith pierces Frodo’s shoulder with a poisonous sword, there’s a race to remove the poison. If poison remains in Frodo, he will become a diabolical Ringwraith himself.

The Poison of Bitterness

“Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many” (Hebrews 12:15 NLT).

Bitterness, like the poison in a Ringwraith’s sword, not only destroys the wounded, but it also defiles those they touch. If bitterness isn’t dealt with, the tormented becomes the tormentor.

Who hasn’t wrestled with this? We reason it’s only fair that the one who caused our pain should hurt as much we hurt. But we can’t handle the role of avenger. Only God can wield vengeance and not be destroyed by it.

God’s mandate to forgive is practical. When we overcome evil with good, we:

  • Receive a great reward and show the world we belong to God (Luke 6:35)
  • Become blessings instead of Ringwraiths who defile others (Hebrews 12:15)
  • Become like Christ (Luke 23:34)

The Ringwraiths in Lord of the Rings stayed evil. However, others under the Dark Lord’s spell were set free. But Frodo’s heart was healed. Some who injure us will be freed from their darkness. Some won’t. Only God knows who is entrapped by evil and who is evil. Another reason why He’s the only one who can correctly avenge wrongs. We can trust Him to repay fairly.

The next time someone pokes your wound, remember:

  • Whose child you are
  • Frodo and the Ringwraiths
  • Christ on the cross forgiving you

Bitterness disfigures its victims into servants of the Dark Lord. Forgiveness transforms us into the image of Christ.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. –Romans 12:21 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, was released in February 2020.

Little Faith, Big God: Grace to Grow When Your Faith Feels Small by [Wilson, Debbie]

Debbie and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.

Join the conversation: Have you allowed bitterness to grow from refusing to forgive?


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazg%C3%BBl

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2 thoughts on “What Frodo Teaches Us about Forgiveness

  1. Oh, Debbie, what a vivid reminder of the importance of forgiveness. And, I’m another soul who has learned great lessons from the LORD OF THE RINGS. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

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