7 times 70 times…

Forgiveness. Oh, we say it so flippantly.

It’s a concept I’ve seen in ginormous-ly new ways lately. I know of a God who forgives. We, as sinners, take every chance to be prideful, spiteful, hateful, greedy, jealous, unloving, gluttonous, stupid and liars…and yet…He forgives. He takes our ugly. Transforms. Renews. Molds. Teaches (sometimes painful).

I, myself, pray that He will graciously continue to do so. I, myself, am broken. Yes, can you imagine? Me!? Of all people! (Please hear my sarcasm here…)

I can only hope that as I repent and move forward, He’ll continue to ever so gently guide me. And I pray that you, yes, you…will feel His call and guiding hands. That you’ll repent of whatever “sin” is binding you and you’ll move forward…remembering His forgiveness and grace.

I was extended such a beautiful example of this recently. I betrayed someone close to me. I lied, I hid, I cheated in some ways. I even did what I was worried about this person doing. Not only did I do all this against this person, I ultimately dishonored God in the process.

But…forgiveness…it was given so freely, without hesitancy, without doubt, without even anger or bitterness from this person. It was just given. Simple.

Such a reminder of God’s very gift in that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” and forgave. Took our ugly and made it pure…and continues to do so.

Just because you’re a Christian, just because you read your Bible, you go to church, you use religious words, you’ve been on missions trips, you tell others about Jesus…yep, all that…just because (and even BECAUSE of that) you will still sin. It’s a hard realization, and even debilitating at times.

But that’s Satan’s way of saying, “You’re not good enough to go on missions trips. Who are you to tell others about God’s forgiveness? Look at you!! You liar! You hypocrite!”

Don’t listen to his lies. Don’t let the evil one take over your mind and heart. I’m telling myself this as I write. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Recognize your sin (that’s the Holy Spirit speaking to you). Ask for forgiveness from the Father. Rest in that forgiveness. Be transformed by His Word, His love, and His Spirit.

“For His mercies are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23

(guest photographer Mr. Roberts)

So, the next time you or I sin…and oh, it’s gonna happen…let’s repent. Be honest. Rest in His forgiveness and move forward in His gift of grace.

And always forgive. That’s what God did for you. Represent Him well by doing the same to others…even when it’s hard. I pray that I can forgive in situations in the future, just as He forgave me and showed me by example through my friend.