But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins – Luke 5:24a
Many of us struggle with a sense of guilt that won’t go away, even after we’ve confessed our sin and know in our minds that we’re forgiven. It’s hard–sometimes too hard–to accept that God has forgiven us. When you ask God to forgive your sin, he does. The Bible says he removes your sin “as far as the East is from the West.” Do you know what that means? It means that the second time you ask forgiveness for a sin, God says, “What sin?” Because he already erased it from your record, forever.
Mistakes aren’t sources of shame in your life; they are avenues for grace. God’s grace is not reserved solely for our salvation. God gives his grace to us day in and day out.
Your weakness or failure shouldn’t disqualify you or discourage you from making an effort in the first place. Don’t think: If I try harder, I will never fail again. Instead, think: Even though failure’s a possibility, by God’s grace, I will go forward.
When you find yourself struggling with accepting God’s forgiveness, try this: Write a letter which says to your spouse, your children, or a good friend who struggles with not feeling forgiven. If you need some help, search the Bible . . . it’s full of stories and instruction on forgiveness. When you finish, read the letter to yourself, and ask the Holy Spirit to apply the truth of God’s promises to your heart.
– Steve Arterburn
“Always forgive your enemies–nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)