Read: Colossians 3:12-14; 1 John 1:8-9
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. ” (NIV Colossians 3:12-14)
“8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ” (NIV 1 John 1:8-9)
Study: John knew we often like to fool ourselves: “If we claim, ‘We don’t have any sin,’ we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Are you ignoring any God-given inner convictions that you need to face some issue honestly? If so, talk seriously with God about it. When have you been honest about a flaw or struggle, and found that it opened you to the freedom John described: “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong”? “As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other.” Sound simple? C. S. Lewis learned that it isn’t: “I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me….I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me….Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances….that [real forgiveness] we can always have from God if we ask for it.” How have you learned to recognize the difference between saying, “It was no big deal” and truly forgiving the part of any action that had no good excuse?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me clarity about my strengths and about my failings. And give me clarity, too, about my daily need for your forgiving, empowering grace to nurture and grow me. Amen.