It’s hard to forgive others when the hurt is deep, isn’t it? Pain brings emotions that beg for a source and when the source is another person it’s hard to release it…even to God. But an unwillingness to forgive is like holding a ball of fire; you will end up burning yourself.
Forgiving others may not be your biggest issue. You may struggle with forgiving yourself. All of us have disappointed and hurt those we love. Maybe it was a reckless word that pierced a friend like a sword. Maybe you abandoned your marriage. Maybe you disappointed your children. Maybe a rash decision led you to financial hardship. All of us wish we would have done things differently. But in today’s passage note the great forgiveness of God.
I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
There are two things that God does with our sin. First, think of your greatest sin written in big, bold letters and highlighted on a piece of paper. God dips a brush in a jar of ink and applies it to the sin. The indictment is covered over; it can no longer be read. Secondly, God chooses to remember our sin no more. This has nothing to do with the capacity of his memory; it has everything to do with the depth of his grace. Through Christ, God forgives us completely. We move on from our forgiven sin. And…we can forgive others.
Talking to God
- Tell God of a past failure (name the sin) that continues as an obstacle in your life. Ask God to help the memory dull so you can move forward in your relationship with him.
- Name the person (or people) you are having a hard time forgiving. Ask God to help you lay down the hurt and pain and move forward in your relationship with him.
Father, thank you for full and complete forgiveness. Thank you for blotting out our sin and choosing to remember it no more. Please help us to forgive others—regardless of the pain they have caused—and help us forgive ourselves in order to live in the freedom of your great grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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