Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10

Text: Mark 11:24-26; Luke 11:4

Prop: A (handwritten) bumper sticker that reads “I’m not perfect, just forgiving.”

Summary: We must forgive others.

closed handHave you ever seen a bumper sticker on a car? They usually have short messages on them. Once I saw one that read, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.” Even though we sin or offend others at times, we can be glad that God forgives us when we turn away from our sin.

Here is another bumper sticker like that one, but it is slightly different. (Show sticker.) It reads, “I’m not perfect, just forgiving.” The difference here is it explains our forgiveness in how we forgive others. (Read Mark 11:24-26.)

Jesus tells us to forgive others when we pray. He says that if we are holding a grudge to let it go. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any. (verse 25) Our forgiveness from the Father is linked to our own willingness to forgive those that do something wrong to us.

God knows how to give our hearts true peace and that is better than peace of mind. If we hold on to our anger (or hold a grudge) toward another person it burns within us and harms us. It is only by letting go and forgiving that person that we are ready to accept God’s forgiveness for our own wrongdoing.

open handJesus taught us this in the Lord’s Prayer when he said And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. (Luke 11:4) Let’s practice forgiving others right now. Ball up your hands into a fist and hold them in front of you. Now think of something that someone did to you that hurt your feelings and made you mad. Imagine that you are holding that thought in your fist. Do you see how that looks? It seems as if you are ready to fight.

Now keep holding it for a moment. Close your eyes and bow your head. I’m going to pray and ask you to join me. Let us pray. Repeat after me: “Lord, forgive them.” (repeat) Okay, now open your hands and let go of that thought as you forgive that person. Now repeat after me, “Lord I’m sorry for hurting others. Please forgive me.” (repeat) Thank you Jesus for loving us and forgiving us. Help us to forgive others. Amen.

Now open your eyes and look at your open hands. Since you let go of your grudge and forgave that person now your hand is empty and ready to receive God’s forgiveness. That is how we forgive others. Remember to forgive others when you pray.

©2001 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

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  7. The timing of this post couldn’t be better for me. I recently arrived in theBay area to pursue exactly this topic, so the topic and comments reinforce thatI may have made the right move.Although, you’ve been in and around this topic forever (starting withyour ‘Search’ book), and it’s of obvious interest to readers of this blog, SmallData is only now receiving the recognition it deserves among a wider swath ofonline users. I believe you mentioned in a previous post the World Economic Forum report –Personal Data: The Emergence of a New AssetClass – which served to legitimize this area to the general public. But two recentpublications – one by Doc Searl’s, The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge  and the other by Joseph Turow,The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining YourIdentity and Your Worth  – taketwo distinct approaches and arrive at the same conclusion (among others):Consumers are not getting their fair share of the value of their purchasingintent information and the way to correct that imbalance is to take ademand-driven approach to sales. In other words, consumers ‘intentcasting’ theirpurchasing aspirations to merchants, in stark contrast to inherentlyinefficient one-to-very- many broadcasting methods now in use.  Toward that end, Searls advocates VRM (VendorRelationship Management) for customers and the formation of a ‘4thparty’, tools or organizations that are unquestionably on the consumer’s side (analogousto the ubiquitous 3rd parties that assists vendors). Also worth reviewing is the The Personal DataEcosystem which summarizes the worldwide community addressing this topic,and also publishes an monthly journal that highlights the goings on in this nowdynamic area. All the above signal that this is the time for commercializing what is,perhaps the largest pool of wealth in the history of commerce. But not with predatorybusiness models as is now the case in seller-dominated commerce, especiallyonline. It important to point out that Small Data advocates are not proposing areversal of the buyer-seller relationship so they are now in dictatorialcharge, but enough change so both parties to a sales transaction are in a*balanced* relationship, one where *both* buyers genuinely benefit.  My startup (presently in ‘pre-traction’ mode), Office Tower2, proposes toreach that goal by focusing on thespecific demographic who are most likely to embrace the idea of tradingtheir purchasing intent data for cash rewards – web-fluent and well-paid peoplewho work in office buildings.

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