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Following Christ’s example of forgiveness transformed their lives forever

By Summer Lane

Photo: Deposit

Life can be so unfair, sometimes.

Actually, there are seasons of life where life can be unfair all the time. It would be disingenuous to claim that life is sugarplums and roses, especially for the Christian. Jesus did not promise us health, wealth, and prosperity. Rather, we can be sure that while we live in a fallen, sinful world, we will be subjected to fallen and sinful situations.

In John 16, Jesus explains that “in the world, you will have tribulation.” He added, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

That is such wonderful news! It’s easy to reflect on this good news when the going is good, but when times get tough…well, that’s a whole new ballgame!

This past week, the Counter Culture Mom Show took a deep dive into the lives and testimonies of wrongfully convicted Americans who have a thing or two to say about embracing Jesus Christ and following his example of mercy and forgiveness despite horrific circumstances.

From Gene McGuire, who spent 35 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit, to Jake Lang, a young protestor who has been held for more than 1,000 days in prison without trial or bond for his alleged role in the events of Jan. 6, 2021, one thing is clear: there is a lot of strife and injustice in the world.

Thankfully, we can follow the example of these individuals, who all have one thing in common: their commitment to embracing forgiveness.


“If you forgive others and their transgressions, your heavenly father will forgive you.”

Matthew 6:14


Gene McGuire

When he was just 17 years old, Gene McGuire was wrongfully convicted of a murder that he did not commit. His sentence was devastating: life in prison without the possibility of parole. He spent 35 years behind bars before he was released, but his eventual freedom came only after years of navigating the court system and dealing with unsympathetic public defenders. While in prison, Gene became a born-again Christian, and that changed his life forever. He was able to forgive others who had wronged him as Christ forgives us. His testimony is a powerful example of how Jesus can use any situation for His glory. Today, Gene is a pastor, author, and speaker who boldly shares his incredible life-changing story around the country.

Jake Lang

The events of January 6, 2021, are riddled with conflicting narratives, but Jake Lang was there on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on that fateful day. He is one of 220 political prisoners who are being held in prison for their alleged participation in the protest that day, and in this special conversation, he offers his insight from behind bars about what really happened and how America is currently in an age of tyranny. Jack has been held in solitary confinement for over 1,000 days without a trial. “We’re living through tyrannical times right now!” he says. He wrote a book, Patriot Prisoner, that details the horrifying day-to-day reality of being held in federal prison and being shuffled from one facility to the next. Jake says he’s been in 13 different facilities to date. Jake is also doing his part to get the word out about what Jan. 6 prisoners are going through on The Political Prisoner Podcast.

Janet McHenry

Forgiveness is a profound and integral cornerstone of the Christian faith, but applying it to our everyday lives is easier said than done. Janet McHenry lived through years of hellish court battles when her husband was charged with seven wrongful animal abuse charges after a massive two-day blizzard buried six calves and an old bull on their California ranch. Her husband was convicted of six felony charges by an aggressive judge, but later, the Court of Appeals unanimously overturned that ruling. Janet talks about how the experience taught her and her husband to truly and completely forgive the people who did them wrong. She is also the author of 26 books, including several that are focused on developing a strong prayer life.

Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series and Resurrection Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. She is the Associate Editor for Right Side Broadcasting Network. Additionally, she analyzes politics and policies on The Write Revolution.

Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats, and gardening. She is passionate about writing on women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.

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