I learned something interesting the other day. The Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, has a special purpose. It is the day that everyone asks for forgiveness from God for all of their sins that year. But what’s interesting is what happens the day BEFORE!
That day is called Erev Yom Kippur. I like to think of it as Yom Kippur Eve. ☺ This is the day that the Jews ask for forgiveness from PEOPLE.
It is said in some texts that the Jews believe you cannot ask forgiveness from God until you have asked for forgiveness from the people you have hurt.
Now, I’m not saying we should all do this or that it’s a command from God or at. But I love the idea of providing healing to those we hurt before coming to God. Actually, I believe it IS a command! :
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
So many times, we talk ourselves out of approaching each other and admitting our wrongs. We say, “The Bible says, ‘Against You and You alone have I sinned.’ (You, being God). We think it’s enough to take these matters to God only. But it often isn’t! If you were careless with your words or actions with a friend, and you only ask God to forgive you, where have you left that friend?
Stuck in a hurtful place.
And I’ve learned that it is not fair or kind to say, “Well, she’s responsible for her own actions. If she can’t forgive, then I guess that’s on her.”, and we never even attempted to make right!
It is true we need to forgive even without an apology, but why should that ever happen in the Church?
Tip for all of us :
If we ever hear ourselves saying that sentence, we should know right away that we screwed up.
We are family. And we’re supposed to take care of each other. We are not supposed to cause even the slightest bit of strife!
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy: without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12 :14,15
Listen. I know none of us is perfect, and we’re going to mess up in a bunch of different ways. But I know I need to heed my own advice in this area!
I don’t ever want to be the reason “many were defiled.”