You may have heard of the phrase “to err is human, but to forgive is divine.” This phrase has become very trite, but there is a lot of truth to it, especially the latter half. Forgiveness is actually a very difficult subject for people.
Let’s turn to Luke 5:17-26 and read together.
It is interesting that the first thing Jesus did for the paralytic was to tell him that his sins were forgiven. After the paralytic was given this assurance, Jesus healed him. While it was obvious to people that the paralytic was in need of physical healing, Jesus saw that the paralytic was also in need of spiritual and emotional healing.
Let’s turn to John 8:3-11 and read together.
The woman caught in adultery experienced shame and condemnation. Yet, the only One in the crowd who would be justified in condemning the woman showed her mercy and forgiveness.
Let’s turn to Luke 7:36-50; 18:9-14 and read together.
People oftentimes feel that they cannot be forgiven by God for their sins. Part of this is due to the fact people have difficulty forgiving others. The Pharisees taught that you only need to forgive a person who has wronged you up to three times. Peter thought he was going above and beyond the standard of the Pharisees by forgiving up to seven times.
However, Jesus told Peter that you should forgive a person as often as they genuinely ask you for forgiveness. Just as Jesus forgives us of our sins, we should forgive those who trespass against us (Matthew 6:12).
Let’s turn to John 3:16-17; 13:34-35 and read together.
If people have not experienced unconditional love, they cannot understand true forgiveness. Jesus loves you unconditionally, no matter how broken your life is.
Let’s turn to Micah 7:8-9, 18-20 and read together.
There are many stories in the Bible where God rewrote the stories of broken people. Samson fell so far away from God that he lost his strength, was captured by the Philistines, blinded, and paraded about as an object of ridicule. Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and blessing, then fled from home, never to see his mother again. David abused his position as king to take advantage of Bathsheba, murder her husband Uriah the Hittite, and vainly tried to cover these sins up. Yet, these sinful men are mentioned in Hebrews 11 as examples of faith!
What these three individuals have in common is that in their darkest hour they came to acknowledge their brokenness. Samson had to acknowledge how he wasted the strength God gave him. Jacob had to acknowledge his guilt as a “supplanter” (Genesis 27:6; 32:27). David was confronted by his hypocrisy and the sins he tried to hide (2 Samuel 12:1-13).
Samson, Jacob, and David all repented of their sins and asked for forgiveness. They acknowledged their need of a Savior. They acknowledged their need of Jesus. Samson was granted strength to destroy his enemies (Judges 16:28-30). Jacob became a progenitor of the nation of Israel (Genesis 32:28). David became known as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).
Friend, when God calls us to love everyone, that includes the people who have hurt us as well as ourselves. As we forgive those who sin again us, trust that God forgives you of your sins when you ask for forgiveness. God believes in you, but so does Satan. Satan wants you to believe in the lie so that you do not reach your full potential as a child of God. However, you do not have to live with brokenness, shame, and condemnation.
Jesus loves you. He already took all our brokenness, shame, condemnation and did away with all those things at the cross (Colossians 2:14). You only have to come to Jesus, acknowledge your brokenness, repent and give everything to Him. Jesus will renew you and give you wholeness (Matthew 11:29; Acts 3:19; Philippians 1:6).
Friend, will you let Jesus rewrite your story and heal you of your brokenness?