“…and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us…” --Matthew 6:12 (KNOX)
Since I’ve begun walking the dog, I’ve been tempted to trespass on private property. I don’t take Lexi through homeowners’ yards, but I do sometimes take her behind office complexes or through untended meadows. There is a stand of trees behind some office buildings that Lexi likes to explore. There is a parcel of undeveloped land east of the bank where she can follow the scent of the deer that wander through. This land—although privately owned—is basically ignored. I figure I’m not doing any harm. When we walk in faith, we're sometimes tempted to trespass. We go places or do things that we know we shouldn’t. Of course we don’t do anything that would hurt other people, the way I don’t let Lexi dig up the neighbor’s roses. We figure our private trespasses won’t do any harm. In fact, they may harm us, if they are unhealthy or dangerous, the way I could get my eye poked out exploring among untrimmed trees with low-hanging branches. But the worst harm our trespasses do is to our relationship with God. We know he doesn’t want us to do these things, so we try to hide them from him. Eventually we try to hide ourselves from him. Then we aren’t walking in faith, we’re cowering behind a tree (See Genesis 3:8). If we want to keep walking in faith, we have to resist the temptation to trespass where we don’t belong. And when we do stray, we have to ask forgiveness to get back on track.
Dear God, Help me to resist the temptation to trespass when I’m walking in faith. Amen