23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24) Bible Reading: Matthew 5:21-37
I remember reading how monkeys are trapped in certain remote places. Hunters place pieces of fruit in narrow-neck vessels and bury these shallowly. Monkeys in the area are drawn to the aroma of fermenting fruit, and soon figure out that they need to get their hand into the jar to reach the fruit. While they can get their hands into the jar easily enough, it’s impossible to withdraw their closed fists from the jar without letting go of the fruit in its grip. Hunters close in on the frantic monkey. Instead of letting go and escaping to freedom, the monkey chooses to hold onto the fruit, with ever increasing freneticism. Without it knowing, it’s choosing bondage over freedom; death over life by hanging onto a rotten banana. Many folk choose to hold onto the rotting banana of bitterness, the decaying figs of unforgiveness rather than letting it go and moving forward in freedom. We cannot offer our gifts to God today while holding onto bitterness of yesterday. Freedom through forgiveness is necessary and possible, by the grace of God.
Lord, help me let go of those things that hamper –
bitterness, negativity and strife;
take them from me, I want them no more
as I move forward in freedom and life.