Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
If you pay attention to a common thread running throughout the main story line in God’s Story (what we find in the Bible), you’ll find that owning our personal screw ups (sin) is central to our part in initiating a relationship with God. As it turns out, it’s also central to reconciling our relationships with others. In fact, God holds out on us, in relationship, until we get things right with those we need to get things right with. So God’s Story now becomes Our Story. We can’t do a relationship with God well without also doing a relationship with others well. And every time, it always boils down to either admitting what we’ve done and determining to not keep doing it, and/or forgiving those who’ve wronged us.
It appears that God is just waiting to see how bad we really want a relationship with him. If we don’t want a good relationship with people, even the most difficult people we know, then it calls our desire for a good relationship with God into question. Check out these scriptures if you’re not sure you agree with me: Matthew 5:43-48; 6:12-15; 1 John 2:9-11; 4:7-8, 11-12, 19-21.
Something I’ve discovered in my own life is that if I’m willing to get over myself and my inflated, inaccurate view of myself which is fueled by EGO, and admit my own faults, weaknesses and failures (sin again), I’m more willing to forgive others and pursue a reconciled relationship with both those I have wronged and those who have wronged me. John the Apostle hits this hard in his letter, 1 John. The progression goes like this: be honest about my own sin, start obeying God—walking as Jesus did, and then pursue love toward my brothers and sisters, not hate. Check out 1 John 1:5—2:11. It’s all right there before our eyes—and our consciences. Now what are we going to do about it?