Faithful To Forgive

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8 - 2:1)

As much as we don't like to admit it, we all slip up and sin. We have the spirit of Christ which will save us, but as long as we are in these physical bodies, the pull of the flesh will eventually get to us. Over time, we draw closer and closer to Jesus and the spirit grows in us. The greater his spirit grows, the easier it becomes to overcome temptation. Yet, in the mean time, we still fall short. This is something we need to be able to deal with properly.

First of all, we must never deny the sin. As ugly as the thought is, we have to face it. We can't just ignore it hoping it will go away. We need to confess it to our Lord. Pride and ego and our desire for righteousness will usually make this difficult, but it must be done. How can we obtain forgiveness if we aren't willing to accept that we need forgiveness?

Second, we can't just brush it off lightly. Sin is sin, and always leads to death unless removed. We can't take the attitude that, well, Jesus will forgive me, so what's the big deal? Sin has to be taken seriously and must be dealt with as soon as possible. If you put off seeking forgiveness you can reach the point where you fall away completely and become so hard-hearted you don't even seek the Lord's guidance.

At the same time, we can't sit there and obsess over the sin. Just as some people will deny it or not take it seriously, some will anguish over their failings excessively. This is equally bad. We need to take it to the Lord, lay it out in front of him so that we can obtain healing. And when he gives us that forgiveness, we have to drop it and leave the sin behind. To sit there and obsess over sin is to refuse to acknowledge his power to forgive. That's every bit as bad as refusing to acknowledge the sin in the first place. It's really a lack of faith that says, my sin is so bad, there is no way he can forgive me. Yes, he can and he will so long as we keep turning to him with the proper attitude.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Just as Jesus is faithful to forgive us, we must follow his example and be faithful to forgive others. If we understand that we will occasionally fall into sin, then we must also recognize that others will do the same. If we don't forgive them, then what right to we have to ask forgiveness for ourselves? We must be faithful to forgive and be faithful in asking for forgiveness when needed.


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