“Staying Angry is Easy. Forgiving is Difficult.” – Ray Pritchard
Confession should lead forgiveness. Confession takes the lid off, opens the window, and opens the door, revealing what is within – sin or faith. God does not forgive sin without true repentance (Acts 5:31). “Confession can be either acknowledgment of guilty or gladly acknowledging faithfulness to Christ” (Bure, Candace). When we acknowledge the malice of sin, it is uncomfortable and painful to reveal it. It can be embarrassing to reveal our sins, it is awkward to allow others into our lives. Perhaps it is the stillness of repenting that reveals something personal. But confession is an important part of knowing God, asking forgiveness, and being freed from sin. Pritchard said, “Forgiveness allows you to let go and move on.” It’s an important part of living in community.
The Bible commands us to forgive others when they have mistreated us and to seek forgiveness when we have mistreated others. Forgiveness is not about us, it is about God! When we practice forgiveness, we follow the EXAMPLE of God, who extends to us the ultimate forgiveness – mercy for our sins. Forgiveness is the way to freedom. We need forgiveness because we are sinners, who try to change the rules. However, we cannot get away with it. When God forgives you, you are free from guilt and restored to friendship with him. Without forgiveness we are empty. When you forgive someone who has wronged you, you are free from bitterness and resentment that can dowse your soul like poison. We should forgive because we have been forgiven. Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And when you have been forgiven by another, you are free from debt to them. When we forgive and are forgiven, we have hope! Receiving God’s forgiveness and forgiving others are at the center of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Exodus 34:6-7 – “The compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining live to thousands, and forgiving wickedness.”
Does God truly forgive sin when we confess it to him?
What does it mean to be forgiven?
Acts 8:22-23 – Forgiveness free you from slavery to sin
Written by Meagan Roth: Meagan Roth serves as a counselor at Barbara’s Place, and a group leader for the Women’s Community Groups. Meagan volunteers with Good Grief, and AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) and is an active member of the AACC (American Association for Christian Counselors). Meagan is currently in the process of becoming a licensed counselor in the State of NJ.
Think About This: “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” ―