Faith Moment
February 22, 2016
The Blessings of Asking for Forgiveness

If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Matthew 4:23-24

Being reconciled to a brother means both forgiving and being willing to forgive. Both are necessary and both bring blessings.

Many years ago, a professor at the University of Edinburgh was listening to his students as they presented oral readings. One young man rose to begin his recitation but was abruptly stopped by the professor. “You are holding the book in the wrong hand,” criticized the educator. “Take your book in the right hand and be seated.”

Responding to this strong rebuke, the young man held up his right arm. He didn’t have a right hand! The other students were deathly quiet and began to shift in their seats. For a moment the professor sat in dumfounded silence. Then he slowly made his way to the student, put his arm around him and with a tear in his eye, said, “I am so sorry. I never knew. Please, will you forgive me?”

This willingness made a strong impact on the young man and later inspired him to pursue the Christian ministry.

When we are forgiven, the burden of guilt is lifted, and we are set free. But before we receive forgiveness from the one we’ve wronged, we must ask to be forgiven. The very act of asking is itself a grace, giving testimony to the work the Holy Spirit has accomplished in our heart in order to bring us to the point where we can see and admit our sin. Our willingness to confess that sin to a brother can have an impact we never imagined. 

With Love,

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