by Charles R. Swindoll
Jesus tells us to stop praying for forgiveness until we've made things right with people we need to forgive or ask forgiveness from. I believe most of us try to do that. But what if it is impossible for me to reconcile because the offended person has died? It's impossible to get a hearing, but your conscience remains seared.
I suggest you share your burden of guilt with someone whom you can trust—your spouse, a counselor, your pastor. Be specific and completely candid. Pray with that person and confess openly the wrong and the guilt of your soul. In such cases prayer and the presence of an understanding, affirming individual will provide the relief you need so desperately.
After David had indirectly murdered Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, his guilt was enormous. Adultery and hypocrisy on top of murder just about did him in. Finally, when he was caving in, he broke his silence and sought God's forgiveness but Uriah was not there to hear his confession. He had been dead almost a year. The broken king called on the prophet Nathan and poured out his soul, "I have sinned. . . ." Nathan followed quickly with these words: "The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die."
When you have been the cause of an offense, that is, when you are the offender, have the heart of a servant. Stop, go, reconcile, and then return.
Confess your sins one to another. Only pride is stopping you.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.