If you were with me on Sunday, you remember that we talked about forgiveness. Yes, again.
Consider the importance. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), Jesus told his disciples that when they brought an offering to the temple, if you remember that your brother has any grievance against you, “leave your offering there upon the altar, and first go and make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your offering.”
Now keep in mind that offerings and sacrifices were not done as an after-thought, or by giving whatever someone happened to have in their wallet. There were burnt offerings, cereal offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings and trespass offerings, all done regularly. So obviously Jesus considered that forgiveness stuff to be pretty important.
It is my experience that there is an opportunity to forgive whenever someone does something against my rules, or doesn’t do something that would be in compliance with my rules. There is also the opportunity when I do (or don’t do) something that I would have done (or would not have done) if I had been consciously conscious. In other words, when I am fully aware that I am the beloved of God, and so is everyone else, I treat everyone, including myself, with honor and respect, and without judgment. When I don’t, there could be a need for forgiveness.
It’s a wonderful thing because we get to keep practicing the art of forgiveness. (Somebody said it is like peeling away the layers of an onion.) We really aren’t done for the month until 11:59 p.m. on the last day before the new month starts.
But considering what Emmet Fox says in his book The Sermon on the Mount. If we harbor resentment, bitterness, or the need for forgiveness against anyone, including political parties, religious groups, current or ex-whatevers (spouses, employers, etc.), that could be what is keeping us from the manifestation of our desires (or our answered prayer).
Hmmm. There’s a thought, huh?
Click on the link below to listen to my talk on this subject from Sunday.