I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and perhaps that’s putting it mildly. Mistakes seem to be a bit less intentional, and what I’ve chosen has often been intentional. I’ve sinned—plain and simple. We might not like that word, because it makes us squirm. Some of us might not even really understand what it means, especially if we’re not confident God is who He says He is. If we don’t agree in God’s absolute standards and will, and sin is turning away from those standards, we can easily dismiss sin. And even when we agree that sin exists, we can compare and excuse our sin or someone else’s because we minimize what offends God by being outside of His will…even when we give His sovereignty lip service as unequivocally incomparable.
I’ve been outside His will, and there’s no spin I can put on it that makes it anything less. But just as God sets the standard in His sovereignty, He forgives in His sovereignty. He can do that because of who He is. He has the power, mercy, and wisdom…and I am thankful.
I haven’t always known what to do with God’s forgiveness. It wasn’t an issue about what God could and would do as much as about how I chose to respond. I didn’t always completely give everything to God, hanging onto just enough for…Comfort? Control? Punishment? Whatever the reason, because of my response and the remnants of sin, I didn’t feel completely forgiven.
I’ve been told it’s harder to forgive ourselves than to accept God’s forgiveness, but as I wrestled with that, I realized it was just one of those things we create to help us reach for an understanding we feel we need or to make ourselves feel better about something. But it’s a distortion of who God is. If my unforgiveness is more powerful than God’s in my life, the problem isn’t on His end of things. I can’t have it both ways—claiming His sovereignty, yet taking the reins when it comes to deciding who forgives when and how much. My job isn’t to forgive. That’s God’s job. My job is simply to yield—completely.
Yes, complete yielding is often a process. Even when we think we’ve completely yielded, we find more that needs to be uprooted and weeded. Yet when we surrender to God in each situation, we can trust that He receives what we offer—whether it’s all at once or a little at a time. His timing is perfect. Our obedience is not. But He works it all together…and I am certainly grateful.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous 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 1:5-10)