Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 29: Year 2
“My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)
Each and every one of us are in need of forgiveness. And God, in God’s all knowing wisdom, has given each of us the Spirit to restore a neighbor who, having been found in transgression, the power to restore a brother or sister, back into the fold.
I need it, you, reading this message, also need it. None of us are beyond needing restoration. God made us this way on purpose. This is why our Lord Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Sometimes those who sin against us do not ask for forgiveness. This can be for one of two reasons. First, maybe they are in a bad place and were intentional about what they have done to you. Second, perhaps they didn’t realize that they have actually sinned against you. I’ve experienced both. In these situations I like to use the word “pardon.” I can pardon a person without them even knowing it. When I pardon someone I can move on with my life and not sit and simmer about an insult or injury.
While I am not opposed to informing someone that they have offended me, (in case they didn’t know it), I do not believe in asking someone for an apology. I feel that once they are made aware that I felt hurt by something that they have said or done, (or not done), it’s up to their conscience as to what follows. Sadly, I have even seen whole countries insist on an apology from another country for some sad misdeed perpetrated on it. I think, be it a country or a person, once the sin or any kind of violence has been made known, the apology should be forth coming and in all sincerity.
Once a transgression has been detected, you and I have been given the Spirit that will restore us all to a spirit of love and gentleness with one another. All we have to do is use it and be thankful.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John