Have you done or said something you bitterly regret? Have you hurt someone so bad that forgiveness is highly unlikely? How do you live with that? Well, I am trying to.
My behaviour hasn’t always been stellar in the past and today my conscience has reminded me again just how rotten I can be. I identify with the apostle Paul’s feeling here;
Romans 7:24-25; Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…
A lot of people are big on forgiveness until it is they who have the personal choice to forgive or continue to hate and be bitter. Hate, anger and bitterness feels good to our flesh. It seems to give us a sense of justice as we justify our indignation toward others who have hurt us in some way.
Even when there has been substantial remorse, growth and change in those who have dealt hurtful blows, there are some who won’t care. Lets face it, it’s easier for us to be angry then to forgive.
There are members of my own family who I have not talked to for almost a year now, and I don’t expect that to change any time soon. Sometimes anger takes over as if it has a life of its own and it is very difficult to overcome.
My life’s regrets way heavy on me at times as I have tried to serve God with all my heart, and yet I have brought shame and condemnation to His name. There is a scripture that is never far from my mind these days.
Romans 2:24; The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.
Has God Forgiven Me?
Has God forgiven me for my transgressions? Yes He has because I have addressed my behaviour, taken ownership and responsibility for it by coming clean about it with others around me. I have determined in my heart to once again apply God’s precepts to my life rigorously as He promises He will change and restore me if I do.
1 Peter 5:6-7; So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
2 Chronicles 7:14; if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins
Will They Forgive Me?
Most likely there will be some will not forgive you for things you have done, so what can you do? I have given my mistakes and those I have hurt to God, for He alone can heal hurts hearts. I have determined to live fully for God again, and to stop compromising with the sin in my life He says is harmful to me, and by proxy harmful to those around me.
I have determined that being a true, devoted disciple of Jesus is the best way to have the greatest positive affect on the lives of those I have impacted. This is a step that will diminish if not erase the possibility of making the same mistakes again, and it will enable me to petition God on their behalf. For someone who doesn’t believe God exists, it is meaningless but He does, and He loves them too. He also commands us to pray for everyone, so I will in faith believing God will have great affect in their lives.
Even when forgiveness comes, consequences still remain and those we just have to learn to live with. Forgiveness from others is difficult to attain, but forgiving yourself, at least for me has been a daunting task.
Peter, David and Judas
Often I ponder about king David and other men of God who majorly messed up their lives, but still managed to receive God’s forgiveness. I contrast them with others who did the same but their lives ended up being destroyed. What was different with King David, or Peter who betrayed Jesus three times, and Judas who also betrayed Jesus?
Judas tried to reconcile his guilt in his own effort by returning the blood money, but it didn’t help. Despair and regret over-took Judas and he committed suicide. Peter, wept bitterly and ran to Jesus when he say Him again. Peter sought forgiveness from God knowing there was nothing he could do to make things right again. Peter trusted and relied on God’s mercy, while Judas relied on his own ability, trying to earn his forgiveness.
David a man after God’s own heart
Acts 13:22; But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’
“[A] man after my own heart”. This is remarkable when you think that God said this knowing David would some day sleep with another man’s wife, then order the murder of the woman’s husband to cover it up. David still suffered consequences for his actions but ultimately, God forgave him because he, humbled himself before God.
God knows every action and every word every and every thought a person will ever do, say, or have and he still loves each and every one of us the same. Like Peter, David and others, I will have to live with sadness of my regrets and I will have to leave the rest up to God.
I don’t think so. For anyone who’s anger burns at those death bed conversions by murderers and the like, they should let go of it. God isn’t gamed by anyone. He knows the hearts and motives of all of us.
Proverbs 16:2; People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives
Matthew 28:18; But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?
The bible is full of people just like us, reminding us that God loves, saves and works with people just like you and me. God will do great things providing we give our lives to Him so He can live and work through us.
Without forgiveness and mercy, there will be no forgiveness or mercy for us.
James 2:12-13; Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Matthew 6:14-15; If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
If, or when we begin to think ourselves too unworthy remember those who went before us, and when we begin to think we are more worthy then the next guy as our good deeds pile up, Paul reminds us of this;
Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away;
all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace.” “They have no fear of God at all.”
Romans 8:1-3; Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
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