Even though you know that Jesus values forgiveness, you’re human, so you still struggle with it.
A part of the reason some of us struggle is because we underestimate our own need for forgiveness. It’s an unpleasantish topic that we like to avoid. But the hard, honest truth is that all of us are broken sinners who “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Not a single one of us can stand before God with a perfect moral track record in life and boast about our awesome performance. Not me, not you, not anybody.
Your realization of this fact becomes the basis for the forgiveness you extend to others. Ephesians 4:32 says to forgive each other, “just as in Christ God forgave you.”
That’s why you should ask God to forgive you. Sure, maybe you believe that God forgives in a vague and general way. But have you specifically actually asked him to do it?
Think through your own wrongs. The ways you have hurt someone. The ways you have been apathetic. The ways you have lived by misplaced priorities. The ways you have neglected or dishonoured God. If you get through your list in under five minutes you’re not being honest!
Take your own wrongs seriously. Then ask God to forgive you. When you take that honest and humble step, you become more willing to forgive others.
By Matthew Ruttan
- “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) and returns on October 15th.