“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”. (Mathew 5: 23-24)
Another part of forgiveness is making amends to the ones we have hurt. WHY? – Because unresolved relationships are the problem and they prevent transformation from happening. No one can have a close relationship with God in a vacuum. We all live within a social structure, made up of family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and complete strangers (community). Our relationships with others are a reflection of our relationship with God. So, if we sin against someone, we also sin against God.
- Jesus taught that before asking God for restoration and forgiveness, everyone has to make right, the sins they have committed against others. This principal is called ‘making amends’.
If you’re having trouble remembering anything you need to make right with others, here are some examples:
Is there anyone I owe a debt to that I haven’t repaid? Is there anyone I’ve broken a promise to? Is there anyone I manipulate for selfish reasons? Is there anyone I’m jealous of? Is there anyone that I judge too strongly? Have I been verbally abusive to anybody? Or physically abusive? Or emotionally abusive? Is there anyone I have not appreciated or not paid attention to or forgotten an anniversary? Is there anyone I’ve been unfaithful to? Or have I lied to anyone? Have I taken something that didn’t belong to me? Is this enough to get us started?
Make another list. Write it down. Everyone and everything. Don’t leave anything or anyone out. Look at it and think about it. Pray about it. Then start thinking about the way you would like for someone to come to you and try to make amends. Read Luke 6:31, and and use it as your guide. Make things right with others in the spirit and intent of Jesus’ teachings.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” – Hebrews 12:15
And be THANKFUL