And Jesus said, “I tell you, her many sins are forgiven for she loved much, but anyone who has forgiven only a little, loves only a little," Luke 7:47.
That true but startling statement also helps to clarify an otherwise baffling remark Jesus made in Mark 2:17, "I came to call not the righteous but sinners."
Ever since God gave us the Ten Commandments through Moses, most Judeo-Christian believers have understood the importance of righteousness. For instance, no one aspires to being immoral, decadent, or dishonest in our dealings with God or other people! However, as we strive to be upright, Romans 3:23 tell us no one will succeed "since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Sooner or later we all lie down on the job of being upright.
No one can expect to stand forever faultless and unflawed – unless we're humble enough to ask God to forgive us, which then restores us to perfection in The Perfect Person of Jesus Christ.
The good news, then, is not that we're free to sin, but that we're free from even hereditary chains of sin. If we ask in all sincerity, we’re freely forgiven of our mistakes and acts of disobedience to God.
We may still need to face restitution or embrace resolutions. Nevertheless, confession and forgiveness put our lives and worth into perspective as we call to mind the sins or errors we have committed, consciously laying them to rest in the boundless love of God. As we become keenly aware of our sins and ongoing dependence on God for healing and forgiving us (probably more often than we’d like!), we're also apt to walk in the strength that comes from receiving, acknowledging, and believing in God's unfailing love.
Prayer: Dear Loving Father and Almighty God, You alone have the power to forgive us for our misdoings and help us to forgive others for their infringements and trespasses, real or imagined, intended or not. Help us to remember, Lord, that forgiveness is an act of choice, not a feeling. Help us to obey Your command to forgive others as we want to be forgiven in Jesus’ Holy Name.
©2012, Mary Sayler. Thank you for acknowledging this site as you pass along these prayers and devotionals to others. For more on what the Bible says about forgiveness, see “The healing power of forgiveness” on the Christian Healing Arts blog.
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