Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Forgiveness and prayer!

This past week at a base in Afghanistan copies of the Islamic holy book the koran were found burned in a trash dump. I was not able to find out if they knew how they were burned, but the official report was that they were inadvertently burned. In the hours and days following the incident many riots broke out, lives were lost, and the tension between Americans and people of the Islamic faith has grown to extremely high levels.
When actions and reactions like these happen I think of what Jesus told us immediately after he told us we have the power to move mountains.
Mark 11:25-27
25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

We must learn to forgive as our father in heaven freely forgives us. It is so important that right after telling us in what manner we should pray in The Lord's Prayer, Jesus followed with this passage.

Matthew 6:14,15
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness was so important that he mentions it in Matthew 5 by mentioning forgiveness before giving. I believe God wants us to live in peace while we are here on earth. So much so that love and forgiveness are placed higher than anything else.

Matthew 5: 21-24
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
   23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

When I heard of all the terrible things that people were doing over the burning of books I thougth of these passages on forgiveness. I would hope to think that if the same thing were to happen to the Bible that we as Christians could follow Jesus teachings and bring these passages to mind before acting on our earthly emotions.

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