Seek Forgiveness with a Pure Heart
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
─ James 5:16 ESV
In 2 Samuel 16:5, a man named Shimei verbally attacked David with an unjustified tirade against him. Shimei, a relative of Saul, accused David of killing Saul, publically hurling stones and curses at him. And even though David had no part in Saul’s death, he quietly tolerated the abuse and took no action against Shimei, even though he had every right to do so as the king.
Shimei joined David’s son, Absalom’s pursuit against his father for the throne. And after Absalom was defeated, Shimei came to King David, begging for a pardon, confessing his crimes. David gave Shimei grace and forgiveness.
Our verse today declares we are to confess and acknowledge how we have offended one another. And then to pray for one another to be instantly healed of the offense. Just as we can go to God to receive forgiveness, we should be able to go to our brothers and sisters in Christ for the same result. And they should be able to expect forgiveness from us.
Confessing our sins to one another offers an opportunity for others to love and support us through our challenges and temptations.
It’s important to have a change of heart when we seek to be forgiven. David forgave Shimei, but on his death-bed David instructed his son Solomon concerning Shimei, whose loyalty again became doubtful (1 Kings 2:8-9). Solomon had Shimei put to death because he violated his word once again (1 Kings 2:36-46).
Today’s One Thing
Is there something you need to confess? Has someone offended you, and your harboring hurt in your heart against them? Pray and ask God for wisdom in how you should seek their forgiveness. Maybe you’ve had a hard time forgiving someone. Ask God to show you how to make things right this week.