One Sunday morning at church, a man approached me and introduced himself. His name was Ray. After we had chatted for a few minutes, Ray, who seemed like a very godly man, said the Lord had impressed him to ask me for help. He needed to borrow $32,500 for one week. He offered to give me a post-dated check, which I was to deposit at the specified time. Wanting to help a brother in need and not taking time to pray about it, I agreed to help him.

The next day Ray accompanied me to the bank, where I secured a cashier’s check in the amount he needed. In turn, he handed me the post-dated check. Ray skipped town with our money and left me holding a worthless piece of paper. I was devastated! Jesus kept admonishing me to “forgive … forgive.” After several weeks of hearing the same message from above, I snapped, “Easy for You to say ‘forgive!’ He didn’t rip off Your $32,500! It was mine!”

“Easy for You to say ‘forgive!’ He didn’t rip off Your $32,500! It was mine!”

The moment I said this, I realized my ignorance. God had given His Son for me—and for that man. Everything I had was His. I fell on my knees in the bedroom and prayed, “I forgive Ray, Lord. Help him to make things right with You.” I felt strongly that because I had forgiven Ray, our nest egg would be returned. A scripture in Proverbs flooded my spirit: “Yet when he [the thief] is found, he must restore sevenfold” (Proverbs 6:31).

That night I wrote the word “Return” on a piece of paper. As I held it up before God, I felt impressed to write a book and call it The Return. Within 90 days, the book was a reality and in the next twelve months became a bestseller. The royalty from sales was exactly seven times what had been stolen from us! Forgiveness opened the door for a commanded blessing in my life.