All of us have, at one time or another, picked flaws in the motives and principles of others, thinking that we had good wisdom. Many have overlooked the Bible description of wisdom which says: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). The very next verse states: “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
Are you sowing peace or are you trespassing against your neighbor or your Heavenly Father? Another word for trespass is misbehavior or misconduct. It is conduct which does not represent your profession as children of the heavenly kingdom. Daniel felt bad and prayed because of the trespasses of God’s people (Daniel 9:7). In the Old Testament, the Israelites offered trespass offerings, but we rarely hear about these anymore. Is it because we do not think we are misbehaving or often consider whether our conduct meets with heavenly standards? We should examine ourselves to see if we have lost that connection with Jesus that so-called little sins or little misbehaviors seem OK and do not need to be repented of.
“We profess a great and holy faith; and our character must be in accordance with that faith, with God’s great moral standard. Let us shun every mean action, all dishonesty, all overreaching; and if any one is guilty of wrong in this respect, let him confess his sin, and make restitution to the one whom he has wronged, and in addition bring a trespass offering to God, that when the times of refreshing shall come, his sins may be blotted out, and his name retained in the book of life.” Gospel Workers, (1892), 432.
We want our names retained in the book of life! Identify all the sins in your life, repent and bring a trespass offering.
“It would be well to have a trespass-offering box in sight, and have all the household agreed that whosoever speaks unkindly of another or utters angry words, shall drop into the trespass-offering box a certain sum of money. This would put them upon their guard against the wicked words which work injury, not only to their brethren, but to themselves. No man of himself can tame the unruly member, the tongue; but God will do the work for him who comes unto Him with contrite heart in faith and with humble supplication. By the help of God, bridle your tongues; talk less, and pray more. …
“The converting power of God must come into your hearts and transform your characters before you can adorn the gospel of Christ with a well-ordered life and a godly conversation. Then there will be no evil-speaking, no evil surmising, no accusing of your brethren, no secret working to exalt self and disparage others. Christ will reign in your hearts by faith. Your eyes and your tongue will be sanctified, and your ears will refuse to listen to evil reports or suggestions from believers or unbelievers. Your senses, your appetites and passions, will all be under the control of the Spirit of God; they will not be given up to the control of Satan, that he may employ your members as instruments of unrighteousness.” The Review and Herald, March 12, 1895.
Heavenly Father: I have trespassed against you so many times without even considering it sin. I am so sorry to have become so slothful in my thoughts and actions. Please forgive me. Alert me to my danger. “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not” (Psalm 17:5). Cleanse my eyes, my ears and my tongue through Your word. I yield myself to Thy Holy Spirit’s control. Amen.