FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION Dec 9, 2008 16:23:03 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Dec 9, 2008 16:23:03 GMT -5
FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION
by Thomas E Durst
Matthew 5:23-24 (The Message)
23-24 This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
Matthew 6:14-15 (New Living Translation)
14-15 If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
These verses are among the most radical of teachings to be found in the Sermon on the Mount which is a portion of Scripture badly neglected. The neglect could well be because the teachings of this timeless sermon are so radical and probe into areas of our lives that we would prefer not to deal with or even think about.
There is the need to seek reconciliation with those who have grudges or issues with us that we may not even be able to understand. Great humility, love, and compassion combined with a genuine intention to have reconciliation is necessary in order to practice this challenging teaching of Jesus. Sometimes I've made apologies that I didn't feel that I actually needed to make in order to have reconciliation and the other party may have told me that I didn't even need to apologize and be very responsive but sometimes I've received some very negative responses. I leave results with God but believe that my responsibility is to humbly seek for reconciliation and leave all results and judgments to God Who only is qualified to read the hearts of all parties concerned.
The other issue is our attitude of forgiveness and love towards others. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful spiritual tools that we can ever find. We first forgive in our thoughts and then, if possible, we express forgiveness in some way to whoever else is involved in that particular situation. We do whatever we can to make amends. The goal is always reconciliation, not self-vindication.
To go through life without making honest efforts towards forgiveness and reconciliation is to invite a lot of suffering for both ourselves and others. It isn't worth it! Most of the time it is our pride that holds us back and we need to let go of it and walk in the path of love and healing that has been provided looking always to Jesus as the supreme example.
I love this precious promise that we can apply to every situation that we face in our daily lives. When we don't know what to do we can rely on God's promise to us:
James 1:5 (Amplified Bible)
5 If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.
Just ask for God's help in simplicity and childlike faith and you will be directed as to the best possible way to work through tough times and come out victorious and bring more peace, love, and joy into a needy world. After all, what is more important than this?
"The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions."--Thich Nhat Hanh
I invite you to read more articles on Forgiveness on the link below: