Matthew 5:21-26 – “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘ You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 ” Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 “Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent. ” NASB

Matthew 18:15-18 – – Instructs us on how to deal with trespasses between brethren.

As I went to bed last night this thought was on my heart and He revisited it this morning. it was about “Receiving Complete Forgiveness.

I’ve heard people say, “Well I asked the Lord to forgive me, so I don’t need to go to them to ask forgiveness.”  That’s not exactly what the Bible says, and it seems that you may be leaving out a very important part.  If they sinned against you and you were totally innocent then you are to forgive them, but if you had a part in the issue you need to go to them and ask forgiveness. Most don’t do that part.

Preacher “X” had a small church and went to Pastor “Y” to ask if the two churches could merge. After time Pastor “Y” agreed with the understanding that Pastor “X” would take a background role and work to merge his flock with the new flock so both could accomplish more for the kingdom.  

Both had properties and all went well for a few months then Pastor “X” began to draw people to him and turn them against Pastor “Y”. The properties were sold for large sums of monies with plans to build a new and better building. Over time, things escalated with Pastor “X” drawing enough people around him to attempt a takeover and oust Pastor “Y”.

The denominational officials were called in and allowed a minority under Pastor “X” to have control and get everything. They gave Pastor “X” and his following the money from both properties, the name of the fellowship, and dismissed Pastor “Y”.  Pastor “Y” was not allowed to attend the meeting, but Pastor “X” was in attendance and able to vote in the proceedings.  Both groups moved on and there was bad blood between the two.  Pastor “X,” wrote some things saying that God forgave him, and he didn’t need man’s forgiveness.

Pastor “X,” wrote articles and declared in public forums lauding his victories and promoting himself as a great man of God.  He never went to Pastor “Y” or any of the leaders under Pastor “Y” to ask forgiveness or receive forgiveness. He seemed to be oblivious to the hurt that might be in the hearts of Pastor “Y” and his followers over what was done.  True Forgiveness requires going to the offended brother and seeking forgiveness.

If you and I have a difference and we go separate ways with ill will in our hearts to truly clear the air and receive the fullness of God’s mercy we need to go to the “offended brother or sister” and ask forgiveness (not bringing up their sins just ours). In doing so we open a door for them to do the same and walk out of the Prison of Pain they live in and are bound by and we set ourselves free. To do less, in my view would be dishonest!

I’ve gone to people in the past with whom I’ve had a bad parting and with genuine sincerity asked them to forgive me (even when they had sinned too). I did not bring up their sins because my reason for seeking them out was to release them from my judgments and be released from their judgment toward me. It has always been my desire that they would also be able to repent and be free, but I cannot control that. 

My forgiveness to another is not conditional or based upon whether they forgive me or not. When I go to the Lord and go to them, I can walk free knowing that I have followed the Biblical prescription and done what is right in the eyes of God. My objective always is restoration.

If you have had bad dealings with someone, I would urge you to take it to the Lord and repent of your part before the Lord and then as He leads and opportunity affords itself, seek the forgiveness of the other person involved.  It is more than a little liberating it will Set you Free!  Don’t make excuses and place conditions upon your forgiveness or asking for forgiveness. Go genuinely in a repentant spirit and the Lord will raise you up out of the morass and set you on Higher Ground. I didn’t say this was easy, I just said it was right! You address your part and trust God to work on their part.

Blessings as you go through your day!

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