‘When anyone wrongs their neighbour and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oath before your altar in this temple, then hear from heaven and act.’ (vv22–23a) 2 Chronicles 6:22–23

We will explore six critical issues in a series as Solomon lays the foundation stones on which the temple of the Holy Spirit stands. If a foundation stone falls into disrepair, the stability of the whole structure is threatened. Our lives are to be established upon God’s keystone, who is Jesus.

Relationships rightly lie at the heart of our Christian faith. A relationship originally lost through human action was restored, at a great price, by Jesus. And God places such a high value on human relationships. Listening to people’s stories, the brutalising effects of poor relationships often rob them of joy, create bitter memories, and produce poor mental health. We’re made in God’s image (James 3:9) and can observe how everyone carries this image on their face.

Passing people in the street I quietly pray for them. I choose to gaze upon each through the cross of Christ and pray. We can’t choose to withhold forgiveness; the one who owed humanity nothing extended forgiveness freely, despite our initial rejection, which impaled Jesus upon the cross. Again, if I pray the words Jesus taught in prayer, ‘forgive us our offences as we forgive those who offend us’, when I withhold forgiveness then I invite God to withhold forgiveness from me.

Related Scripture to Consider: Gen. 1:26–31; Isa. 28:16–19; Matt. 5:21–26; Eph. 2:11–22.

An Action to Take: It’s time to reflect upon those fractured relationships. How you’ve been hurt and how you have hurt others. Going forward, bring these kinds of situations to God each day as they arise.

A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, I choose to forgive others because I am forever grateful You forgive me. Amen.’

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.