Forgive me Lord …
I have sat down and attempted to write this for several days only to have a hindering spirit press against my goal of putting to paper what the Lord laid upon my heart. I pray this softens someone’s heart in what might be a difficult situation.
Forgive Me Lord …. I think for many of us this might have been some of the first words we ever expressed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Coming to the Lord broken, many of our lives upside down looking for a way out of a sinful lifestyle, tired of all the shame and heartaches that plagued us in life. Whatever the reason that drove you to an alter of repentance for the first time I can only imagine that these words would have at some point been expressed.
Our heartfelt desire to be forgiven for the things we had done, the lifestyle we had lived especially for those that weren’t raised in the church like myself and many others within this membership. Given an opportunity to knee before the King of Kings and ask him to forgive us for all the ugly, sinful, hateful acts in our lives and he was faithful and just to not only forgive us of those sins but to wash them away he threw them into a sea of forgetfulness. How grateful we felt for that, to be forgiven and yet it seems we have, at time the inability of forgiving those around us for so much less. Those we feel have offended us one way or another. Whether it be the warranted or manufactured in our own hearts and minds, we need to be careful, after all;
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it. (Jer 17:9)
You see I don’t even know how much the Lord had forgiven me of, many of you know my past, however the Lord knows everything every dark, dirty unmentionable secret within my heart that he has forgiven me of. I am not just talking about the first time but included is every time since. I ask the Lord to search my heart everyday and forgive me of my sins. You see I do not want anything to come between the Lord and myself that would hinder our relationship. I suppose that is why I have a difficult time watching brother next brother both in church, both filled with the Holy Ghost having a fault one to another, the inability to forgive and allowing our foolish pride to hinder asking someone for forgiveness and if forgiveness is asked the inability to in fact do so, after all the Lord did so much more for us.
Jesus Christ hung on a cross so we would not have to, why, so we could humble ourselves and ask him for forgiveness, the first step in the plan of salvation. In addition not everything we repent of and ask for with respect to forgiveness needs to be sinful in nature; sometimes it’s attitudes and actions that need a check and balance. Perhaps a time out could be in order to do a personal inventory and compare those results to the word of God. Were quick to and assured of that the Lord has forgiven us, but has he ?
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.(Matt 5:23,24)
I don’t think there is much wiggle room here in this scripture. It’s pretty much cut and dry. How can I hold ought against my brother and expect the Lord to forgive me. How can I not forgive my brother after all the Lord did for me the only thing I can come up with is pride? To proud to go to a brother who might not even be fully aware of the offense or perhaps is hurting as much as we are only to pray that the gulf between us could be closed, but because were a stiffed neck generation that wound remains open seeping until is becomes infected with hurt, anger, strife, ill will and so much more. The Lord shows us forgiveness everyday should we not in turn show others the same courtly.
Does the Bible not say that we should be Christ like where does that line end, where do we stop being Christ like and become what he hates to see in us? Love one anther as I have loved you,
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (James 5:34,35)
Some might say I can love them but I just don’t like them, it doesn’t really work like that. We need to learn to forgive and forget it’s difficult but is possible. Because my word say;
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matt 19:26)
My Pastor early in my walk told me that earnestly praying for a person that has offended might not affect that individual’s attitude towards me (but it might) but it most certainly helps the way I look at them. I learned a long time ago you can’t earnestly pray for someone and not have it affect your attitude toward him or her. In other words I cannot pray sincerely for someone and not have the Lord soften my heart toward him or her, I have never known it not to work. You may not become best friends but one can walk brother with brother in the sight of Christ.
I closing I want to say if while reading this someone comes to your mind that maybe there is some riff between you. You don’t really know how to take that first step let me say just call them (don’t text) and talk to them from your heart let them know if there is an offense please forgive me. It will take some humility perhaps, especially if you are not at fault. Remember it might not be for them it’s more so for you. At that point in the sight of God you have fulfilled your requirements to make things right. If that individual refuses to acknowledge your attempt to set things straight it’s totally on his head, he will need to answer for that, you will not. You never know he or she might just be waiting for such a call and only eternity will tell whom all that one act might effect for the kingdom of God.