God's goal for us is peace and love with a pure heart and clean conscience
Many of us hurt from our past experiences suffer from fear, resentment, distrust, and anger. In order to grow in God's mercy and peace we must become ready to let go of such pain and seek to restore the damage. We shift our thinking from the painful memories toward a renewed Godly attitude. We are called to purify our hearts from unrighteousness. But just how do we do it?
When we wrong someone or create harm to someone it has a spiritual affect upon us and the other person. Even witnesses of the event could be harmed. There may find ourselves being on the look out for the person we harmed fearing retaliation. We might feel guilty or frustration about what we did and how we acted. What we have done may be beyond repair, but God provides a solution to the spiritual problem. We ought to humble ourselves, seek to amend the wrong, and through God's grace of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and justice we participate in God's restoration process. We have no control over the outcome, but we have control over our actions. Do we submit ourselves into the restorative process of God's grace or take on the damaging pride, control, and fear which may have brought us into the mess? With a humble and contrite heart our only aim is to safely offer ourselves to right the wrong. The peace and healing this brings is worth the loss of our pride and selfish desires.
Selfish thinking leads to spiritual problems. Since we serve God we ought to think more and more how to bring peace and love to others and within ourselves. We are called to love God and each other. This will not happen until we can begin to create such thoughts within our minds and attitudes within our hearts. We need to be retaught a new way of living based upon the teaching in the bible. God is love and if we believe in God then we believe we ought to take action toward growing in love.
We take time to read scripture which can guide our thinking into a Godly way of acting. We must not let our negative thinking and selfish attitude stop us from progressing with God. We are called to follow God, not our sinful selves. More time in scripture focused on growth toward God can improve our growth toward God ... if we desire it from within our hearts. If we don't desire it we probably won't seek it. Any action we take with a defensive attitude will most likely bring little or no change. We must have a humble attitude and a willingness to be changed.
As we read below let us think about the purification of our heart, mind, and soul.
Genesis 35:2 And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.
Acts 15:8-10 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Job 33:3 My words come from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge.
Job 33:9 ‘I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me.
Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.
Psalm 18:26 With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Psalm 119:140 Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it.
Proverbs 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, But the words of the pure are pleasant.
Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits.
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”?
Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.
Proverbs 21:8 The way of a guilty man is perverse; But as for the pure, his work is right.
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Proverbs 30:12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
Micah 6:11 Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales, And with the bag of deceitful weights?
Habakkuk 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
1 Timothy 3:9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
1 Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.
2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Exodus 22 Responsibility for Property
22 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. 3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the theft is certainly found alive in his hand, whether it is an ox or donkey or sheep, he shall restore double.
5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed, and lets loose his animal, and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.
6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns, so that stacked grain, standing grain, or the field is consumed, he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
7 “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods.
9 “For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor. 10 If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies, is hurt, or driven away, no one seeing it, 11 then an oath of the Lord shall be between them both, that he has not put his hand into his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept that, and he shall not make it good. 12 But if, in fact, it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to the owner of it. 13 If it is torn to pieces by a beast, then he shall bring it as evidence, and he shall not make good what was torn.
14 “And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it becomes injured or dies, the owner of it not being with it, he shall surely make it good. 15 If its owner was with it, he shall not make it good; if it was hired, it came for its hire.
Much is spiritually affected when we take advantage of, exploit, or hurt others through our self-centered ways. Fixing that damage and creating space for forgiveness can do a lot of good to repair such spiritual damage. Often times the repair when done correctly can make the relationship stronger. It is incredibly important to complete this process as we have our self-examination and confession.
Our hearts ought to be as free of resentment, selfish motives, pride, and dishonesty lest we create more problems. We keep our focus upon our own attitude ensuring we stay right with God through the process. How the other person may act or what they may say is not to budge us from our humble and spiritually obedient position. We ought to keep in mind the spiritual safety of everyone. If what we are to say or do is to create more harm then it may be best to wait. God is patient and at times it will be better judgement to wait for the right time. We are not to force the process, but be ready to do our part when the time calls for it. Emotions may be too high or the situation could be too sensitive for a meeting. In the meanwhile there is much we can do to improve our spiritual condition. We can continue to bring spiritual peace within our selves and others as part of the reconciliation process. We can seek out someone else and help them. Perhaps there are others who have been hurt in a similar way where we may be able to provide some help.