The Forgiveness of the Lord
For many of you that know me well, much of what I will say will ring true with you, and you may even recognize yourself in this writing. I pray that this writing starts us all on roads to forgiveness and unity within our branches and within the Body of Christ.
Recently, I confess, I have been offended within the Body of Christ by individuals. In their defense, many may not even know they offended me. This has caused great pain in my family and within my soul. This has caused me to refrain from the cleansing power of taking sacrament.
Since I came to The Church (officially), I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to many of the branches and have made tremendous friendships and have some mentors who love me enough to gently — or not always so gently — steer me back in the right direction.
The Lord’s Prayer has a part that goes like this: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.” Whoa — hold on a minute…
It doesn’t say “Forgive them if they beg your forgiveness” or "if they make right whatever they did wrong.” It states, “as we forgive others.” This little bit of scripture actually makes me a little uncomfortable as it makes me realize there can be no condition on my forgiveness.
The Lord has put a story in my head from The Bible. At the last supper, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Redeemer, the King of Kings gets on His hands and knees and washes the feet of Judas. Why is this so spectacular? Some disciples complained and said that they should be washing the Master’s feet. Jesus would hear none of that. Also, we know Judas would betray Jesus and Jesus KNEW this at the time. WOW. The feet washing in those days wasn’t like it is today. Today, before we perform the ordinance of feet washing, people cut their toenails, get pedicures, and the like. In Jesus’ day, there could've been days or weeks worth of dirt on their feet. Their feet must have been nasty. Yet, our Lord humbled Himself to get down and wash those nasty feet.
This is the example Jesus gave to us to follow. Would we wash the feet of one who had offended us? How about one who we knew was going to betray us?
My prayer is that we all re-examine the things we need to “let go.” At the end of the day, when we don’t forgive, we are held captive in our own little jail. Many times, those who have offended you don’t realize it. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others in church (or out) and think we are “really good” in comparison or that our righteousness is worth something. That makes us feel good, but it isn’t a good measurement. The real measurement is when we have an eternal impact on those around us.
To all who have offended me, this is a blanket forgiveness. For all I have offended, I humbly ask for forgiveness.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.