Most of us grow up learning to recite the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13. Suspiciously, we do not learn the verses that come next. Matthew 6:15 states boldly, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” We are called to mirror God’s forgiveness just like Jesus mirrored forgiveness all the way to the cross.
It is my belief that Satan goes to work when we have been wronged. This is magnified in church. We bring many unstated, unrealistic, and unmet expectations of each other into this “Christ centered”setting. Throw in self righteousness, legalism and personal nuances and we are easily entangled in conflict.
Practically, Matthew 18:15 says, “go and point out their fault” just the two of you. Am I taking this step? Am I verbalizing “I feel hurt.” Most people sincerely do not know how they hurt each other. Frequently, each of one of us is in the “early stage” of self awareness. With remarkable moments of humility, we can apologize. Today, we can recognize Satan’s work. Let’s be quick to verbalize our moments of hurt. Let’s also be quick to verbalize apology. As a group, let’s mirror God’s forgiveness to each other and to a lost world. Let us all recognize, and overcome, the oldest trick in the book.