Understanding Forgiveness – Part 3
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
How do you receive forgiveness from God and Mankind ?
You receive forgiveness from God –
Ask for forgiveness in humility
By admitting your and confessing your sin if you are already a Christian.
By confessing the Lordship of Jesus if you an unbeliever. If you have not received Jesus as the Lord of your life, it not only your conduct that needs forgiving changing, your nature needs changing as well. And only Jesus can change both your nature and forgive your conduct. The reason why people live a life of sin is because they have a sinful nature. Therefore, it is nature change that is first required and then we get to character change.
Believe that God heard you and receive forgiveness by faith according to 1John 1:9. Anytime the thought of guilt comes, reject it and speak the scriptures that God has forgiven you and He is not holding any sin against you. Don’t hold any sin or guilt against yourself anymore.
2 Corinthians 5: 19 – that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
You receive forgiveness from mankind –
First pray and ask God to forgive you for hurting or offending someone, ask God to grant you favour with the person so as to resolve the issue.
Look for an appropriate time and place to meet and resolve the issue with the offended person as soon as possible. A neutral venue where you will both be relaxed would be preferable. Don’t allow the hurt to fester.
Let hurting know how you appreciate their meeting with you and how you will not want anything to stand between the two of you. Be sincere admit wrong and make amends where necessary. Avoid trying to justify your hurtful action.
Let the person do most of the talking and let them bare out their mind. Deal with root cause of the offence. Avoid interjecting, be patient and let them finish.
After you apologise, ask if there is anything you can do to heal them and show your genuine apology.
Try to end the meeting on good note and thank the person once again for the meeting. If the person is Christian you should pray together before going your separate ways.
In the event that the person will not meet with you and listen to you, give it some time and find someone they might listen to and set up a meeting together and let the third person chair the meeting and go through the above process.
If this does not work if it is in a church setting involve the church leadership. If it is not in church setting keep praying that God will touch the heart of the person and create opportunity for you to make amends and restore the relationship but don’t live your life feeling guilty or condemned.
When should you ask for forgiveness?
As soon as you are aware of your sin, wrong or fault. Ask for forgiveness and repent. The longer you allow sin or offence to linger the more you give room for the devil to operate in your life and against you. Sin is a reducer and drains the power of God. Sin interrupts your fellowship with God and man if left unattended.
For further Study
Matthew 5:9, 2Corinthians 5:19.
Personal declaration for the day
I will admit when i am wrong and seek forgiveness with a heart of repentance.
Questions for you to reflect on
From whom should do you seek and need forgiveness?
Why should you seek forgiveness?
How do you receive forgiveness?
When should you seek forgiveness?