I never met Nelson Mandela, but he taught me a lot. The first thing he taught me is that I’m not always right. Though I was a lot younger during the battles over apartheid, I was confident that sanctions never work in changing governments, and in fact just punish the people they are supposed to help. South Africa’s, and Mandela’s, experience showed that this was not an ironclad law.

Mandella also showed me that one man’s forgiveness can change the course of a nation. I thought South Africa was destined for chaos, and yet Mandela’s refusal to be bitter and pay back his erstwhile political enemies led to a peaceful transition that few people (certainly not I) expected.

Thank you, Mr. Mandela. Rest in peace.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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