Have you ever been in a spot where you really needed for someone to forgive you? You were caught dead to rights and your only escape was through the gracious and forgiving hands of your captor. I have a lot in my life. You see I suffer from a fatal condition called human-syndrome. For a season (46 years so far), I have been dealing with the fact that I am not where I need to be and probably will never get to where I want. There also a stark reality around me that things are not what they should be.
It grieves me to know how insensitive I am, how easily angered I can be and how quickly I can misbehave around people. I taught a relationship seminar one time to a bunch of students and we had a Q & A afterwards with them. It seems I had a personal example of a fight or a disagreement for each and every question. After the seminar one of the students commented, “man you have been in a lot of conflict”. One of my personal goals is to be at peace with every person around me as far as it is up to me. Man that is hard!
I find that I am most at peace when I am at peace with those around me. But, people are crazy and I am constantly being put to the test. And I know that I put folks around me to the test too. Forgiveness among the living has to do with getting to a place of acceptance of who people really are. And sometimes helping them move past where they are by confronting them and being being willing to be confronted by them. Forgiveness is something I must give because it is something I must receive. I am challenge by the Biblical truth that my forgiveness from God is linked somehow with my forgiveness of people. Forgiveness from God is one of my most prized possessions. My sin related to salvation has been granted based on what Christ did on the cross and I will not be held accountable for it. Praise God!
My experiential forgiveness in my daily life is tied with daily confession of sin and the belief that “if I confess my sin He will forgive my sin. (I Jn 1:9)” To confess means to say the same thing about. When I confess my sin, I agree with God that what I did was indeed a sin. It is a great place to just admit that you are a loser. God already knows. I just agree with him. One of my favorite spiritual disciplines is a time of confession. Sometime I will set aside a very specific amount of time (30 minutes to an hour) and just find a really quiet place and begin to confess every sin I can think of. Then I sit silently before the Lord and ask Him to reveal to me if I have missed anything. Usually, something will come to my mind and if I agree that that thing is a sin, I will ask for forgiveness. I continue the process till nothing else comes to my mind. I then thank the Lord for forgiving my sin and I ask for His strength to not re-commit my list.
Confession is good for the soul. By faith I move forward and believe that my soul is clean before the Lord. Simple process I know but for me forgiveness is a part of my ebb and flow of life and is the very lifeblood to a real relationship with people and with God. I write this post as an example of one sinner who is dealing with his sinfulness before God. One of the foundational truths that we must possess is “how do I deal with my sin.” An incomplete understanding of how to work through sin issues will cripple your spiritual life. Would love to hear any other thoughts you have.
Photo by Mike Murrow