Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of the nature of forgiveness.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Nature of Forgiveness
"Forgive us out debts, as we forgive our debtors." Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 12.
"Create in me Father a clean and pure heart. Wash away all of my sins. Make my soul spotless and blameless." The Father is pure and righteous, free of any stain or blemish. Only the pure in heart can see Him, and the only way our hearts can be clean and pure is by forgiving our debtors.
The technique of perfecting our souls through experience invariably involves stumbling along the way. Sometimes we stumble because of our ignorance; other times we stumble because of our lack of experience. Often we stumble because of our pride and selfishness. It is forever true that pride goes before a fall. While it is true that we may stumble into the ditch of spiritual darkness, it is selfish pride that keeps us there in the dark.
When we are proud we never seek to determine what the right thing is to do. Rather, we decide what we want to do first and then justify our decision. Pride encourages us to never accept responsibility for our actions. We always blame someone or something else. When we are proud we see ourselves as justified in reacting to the wrong perpetrated against us, never understanding how our own actions might have contributed to the problem. When we are proud, we fight evil with evil and then wonder why the fires of evil keep growing.
When we fight evil with evil we are no better than the person who started the trouble in the first place. Indeed, we are guilty of the same crime. The cycle of wrongdoing can only be broken when we desire a change of heart. Only when we become humble can we undo our pride. We can only unravel the threads of wrong with patience, which we earn by trusting in the goodness of the heavenly Father. We simply must forgive even as we seek forgiveness for our mistakes. When we have an unforgiving spirit, it's like walking around with a nail sticking up in our shoes. No matter how we try to stand, we cannot find any comfort.
Seeking forgiveness from the Father is essential for us to establish communion with Him, just as it is essential for establishing normal relationships with the people we have wronged. Our souls become what we pursue. If we pursue wrong, it becomes wrong. If we pursue goodness, our souls become good. The longer conflict is allowed to incubate in our souls, the greater the danger of the soul-destroying harvest of sin--intentional wrongdoing-- to manifest itself. We may attempt to define qualities of the soul, but our souls are actually a direct reflection of our true urges, desires and motivations. These impulses of the soul are actually displayed to the outer world. We may pretend to be a certain way, but the pretense cannot be maintained. The true nature of our souls will eventually reveal itself to all.
Seeking forgiveness is essential in perceiving the Kingdom of Heaven: the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. If we truly love someone as a brother or sister, we can never hold a grudge. Thus it is seen that the inability to forgive someone is because of the inability to perceive them as a brother or sister. And if perceiving others as a brother or sister is not possible, neither is perceiving the Father. The presence of evil and sin in our souls stands as an effective barrier against communing with the spirit Father.
When we seek forgiveness from the Father for our misdeeds, we truly seek to correct any wrongs that we may have caused while we seek to forgive those who have wronged us. The sincere pursuit of forgiveness as manifested by our forgiving others abolishes all guilt for misdeeds while filling our souls with a sublime consciousness of the heavenly Father, the consciousness of divine love. The Father is only perceived in our souls to the extent and degree that we have become like Him, for He is living love.
This concludes today's message on the meaning of the nature of forgiveness. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.