Read Matthew 5:20-24
"Leave there thy gift before the altar; and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (v. 24).
Abraham Lincoln said his heart had "no room for the memory of a wrong." Forgiveness is not complete until the severed friendship is mended. The new weld of forgiveness should result in a deeper, strong union than had existed before. Forgiveness is acceptance with no exemption.
Most of the time forgiveness is not instantaneous; it takes time, work, will, and perseverance. To forgive someone, you must do you best to understand the other person, value others, express love for others, work toward recovery of the relationship, remember forgiveness is not just a single transaction, restore the attitude of love, release the painful past, reconstruct the relationship, reopen the future, and reaffirm the relationship. This takes homework, marketplace work, church work, family work. It cannot all happen at the altar. Forgiveness is costly but it pays; it helps us to be better instead of bitter. May God bless you as you walk the journey from the altar and travel the humble road adjusting your will, attitude, and spirit to the point that the experience will involve no longer walking alone. Now two walk together in love and harmony experiencing the bonds of Christ. (Walter Hedstrom)
The secret is God working within you and you working it out in life.
This devotional is taken from the Friday, November 8, 2013 entry of Opening the Word. Order your copy today!