For the past several weeks, Rev. Dr. W.D. Pigott, our preacher at Daleville United Methodist Church, has been teaching on the Lord’s Prayer.
This week his focus was on forgiveness. Rev. Pigott reminded me of a simple conjunction: AND. “Give us today the food we need AND forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” (New Living Translation). We need our food daily AND we need to forgive others daily just as we want forgiveness from God for our sins.
Too many Christians have no comprehension how often we offend our HOLY God. It is daily. We naively think that because we are “basically good” and have not “murdered” anyone physically that we have not sinned. Folks, not a day goes by that we do not sin in our thoughts or our words or actions. Unconsciously, we pick and choose which instructions we will obey and those where it is socially acceptable to continue. Gossip and back biting are biggies. Judging others is another. And un-forgiveness is yet another.
A habit that helps me remember to obey this command of our Lord is to examine at day’s end the events of the day. I don’t do this alone. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me... and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23)
If left to do this on my own, I would not see myself as God does. I’m often blinded to my own sins. The Holy Spirit is not. He reveals to us what we need to see in such a loving manner. When did I offended God? Did someone offend me? Holy Spirit, did I offend another?
For our part, lets learn to forgive others when the “account” is short. That’s at least daily. Otherwise, bitterness, the evil one’s foothold in your soul, will take root. Sooner or later it will manifest itself in ways that do not reflect the light of Christ within us.
Thank you Brother Pigott for reminding us of a simple word “AND”.
Thank God for His provision of food for the body and soul AND forgive others so that you may receive the same forgiveness.