I am thoroughly convinced that there is nothing better than forgiveness. This is especially the case as it relates to God. If you have been following my story, you are aware that I am a sinner. You are too. I have failed God miserably on several occasions. The occasion I mentioned last week nearly cost me everything. Therefore, if I was going to get back into fellowship with the Lord, I had to beg Him for forgiveness. Thanks be unto Him, He has completely forgiven me.
Thinking once again about this caused me to wonder why it is people do not receive the forgiveness of God. What I want to do is outline a couple of those reasons.
First, they are not truly sorry for their sin. The biblical lingo for this is unrepentant. This means someone is not receiving the forgiveness of God because they don't think they need it. They are not sorry for their sins, therefore, they are unwilling to ask for forgiveness. This is often the case when we are completely out of the will of God. We are living such a rebellious lifestyle that we couldn't care less about the plan of God for our lives. It is quite possible that there is someone reading this that is in the position. You know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that what you are doing is wrong, yet you refuse to confess it and get right with God. WARNING... If you are a believer, God will do whatever it takes for you to see the error of your ways.
Secondly, pride is keeping them from forgiveness. Forgiveness requires humility. You have to humble yourself in order to admit you made a mistake. Let's face it, most of us never like to admit we are wrong. There is just something inside of us that detests that thought. However, if we are going to receive forgiveness, we must be willing to humble ourselves to the point of admitting our mistakes. A life full of pride never leads to a life of forgiveness.
So, what does it take to receive forgiveness?
You must repent of your sins. This means you must sincerely confess the sin in your life to God and strive to not commit that sin again. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sin, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We have the promise of forgiveness from God if we will seek it on His terms.
This, not only is true of being forgiven by God, but this is also true of being forgiven by those you have hurt. My sin has caused me to have to have some extremely tough conversations with those people I have hurt. These are uncomfortable situations, but they are necessary for forgiveness. Even though these are tough conversations, the joy in forgiveness far surpasses the toughness.
Who have you wronged? You need to beg God first for forgiveness, then you need to have those tough conversations and seek forgiveness from your fellow man. I am as happy as I have ever been right now. I am convinced it is because of the forgiveness I have received. I implore you to do the same thing. It will change your life.