FORGIVING OTHERS AND SELF
Read: 1 John 1:5-2:2
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.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. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.“
2 “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (NIV 1 John 1:5-2:2)
Study: John said, “If we claim ‘We don’t have any sin,’ we deceive ourselves.” Sometimes inner blindness, fear or stubborn pride makes us deny that we need mercy. But when we assess ourselves as honestly as possible, and confess the broken, sinful places in our lives, John assured us that forgiveness is always there. Jesus, he said, “is God’s way of dealing with our sins.”
Many of us struggle with a sense that, “I can never forgive myself for _________.” John echoed his master Jesus in teaching that God is willing to forgive anything we’re willing to acknowledge as needing forgiveness. If our hearts condemn us, he said, we must trust God rather than our feelings (1 John 3:19-20). Where do you need to trust, to rest in God’s forgiveness today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there’s no darkness in you—but, sadly, there is in me. Give me the courage to honestly face my flaws and weak spots, and to bring them to you for forgiveness. Amen.