“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matt. 5:23-24

“It doesn’t all depend on you, but as much as it does, seek to make it right.” Romans 12:18

“I’m sorry.” Two simple words that have so much power to make a difference in our lives and others. It’s best to say them sooner rather than later, but it’s never too late!

And he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD: Restitution and the penalty that went with it had to be made the same day of his trespass offering. This powerfully demonstrated that one could not get right with God without also making the wrong right with men.

Ephesians 4:28 expresses another aspect of restitution when the thief repents of being a taker and becomes a giver: Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

We know that when we’ve offended, God expects us to admit it and make it right but why is it so hard to do? It is easier to admit our sin/offense to the Lord and ask His forgiveness than to go to our friend, neighbor, spouse, or child and say I’m sorry, how can I make it up to you. Yet, when we do, the relationship with that person is usually restored and most importantly our relationship with the Lord is even closer. So why is it hard? Maybe admitting that we’re wrong or a lack of humility is a factor. Maybe, fear of rejection or appearing weak to the one offended. Whatever holds us back, if we understand how the Lord looks at our trespass and if we value our relationship with Him above all, we are compelled to take the initiative. And when we act in obedience, God’s power is released to work in the situation to bring restoration. We are still required to forgive the offender though, even if there is no “trespass offering,” to maintain our close relationship with the Lord.

Can you think of someone you need to start the process of forgiveness with? Pray and ask the Lord to reveal any trespass that might need your initiative. If we want to be more like Jesus we need to remember that He was our ultimate trespass offering.

Deb Hill

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