“Three Little Words”

On May 26, Pastor Katy preaches on Matthew 5:21-26.

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. 25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

As we continue in our series on forgiveness, we come to the third leg of a tripod. We’ve talked about the need to accept forgiveness and to forgive ourselves, and we’ve talked about forgiving others, but the third crucial side of forgiveness is to admit when we’ve wronged someone and to say “I am sorry.” True forgiveness cannot happen without all three of these legs in place; we have to learn how to take ownership of our own actions and seek the forgiveness of others with truly repentant hearts. This third piece was so crucial to Jesus that he actually says not to even bother asking for God’s forgiveness when we haven’t fixed things with our brother or sister first. I guess Jesus means business!