And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:22-23
Pride will always be the greatest distance between two people.
Have you ever judged somebody for sinning differently than you? In Genesis there’s an account where Noah became drunk. His son, Ham, saw him naked. Shem, Jafet and Ham where the sons of Noah, 2 of them were blessed but one was cursed.
Ham was cursed because he didn’t cover his father’s nakedness. Ham was expected to cover his fathers nakedness like his brothers did, instead he went to his brothers and told them of what dad was up to. Not only are we supposed to honor our parents, but also cover other people’s nakedness. Nakedness can indicate several things: shame, mistakes, improper behavior, sin, ‘wretchedness, misery or blindness‘ (Rev. 3:17).
If anybody is in a precarious spiritual condition, we should cover their nakedness not expose them. If someone confides in us with their truth, we are to keep their secret and correct them in love. None of us is exempt from falling! And if we ever would, we would like for our lives to be restored by our brothers and sisters in Christ- not exposed.
The Lord breathes over the disciples and tells them, receive the Spirit of God: He also tells them that if they forgive others of their sins, then the Lord would also forgive them. For starters, the Holy Spirit of God cannot dwell, live, inhabit, reside, abide or stay in a vessel who walks in a superior spirit. We can be confident, self assured, holy (set apart), and pure: but we must never be arrogant or ungrateful. Remember king Saul? He walked in a superior spirit, and the spirit of God departed from him because of his arrogance. And secondly, we are obviously not God, and cannot give anyone the gift of mercy which God does. But if we hold a grudge, express disgust or expose someone’s sin- we will very easily condemn them. Condemnation blocks intimacy, and places the individual in a place where they will not be able to receive the forgiveness of God.
We are our brother and sisters keepers, we can be agents of restoration rather than agents of condemnation. The only accuser of the brotherhood is Satan! Who’s team are you on? Can you guard and war for the soul of others? Or are you comfortable walking in darkness? Be careful you do not stumble.
Thank you Holy Spirit of God for this reminder. Forgive us all if we have ever entertained a conversation where another person’s nakedness was exposed. Forgive us Lord if we have ever been an accuser of the brother. And forgive us God, if we have ever walked in a superior spirit, criticizing, judging or looking down at others when they behave uncomely. Thank your lord for covering our sins, and even rebuking us in secret. Thank you for restoring my loved ones, and all of your children around the world. Help us to be more like you father God. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.