Receiving forgiveness is in many ways harder than giving forgiveness. You not only struggle with feeling unworthy of this undeserved gift, but also are dependent on if the person you wronged will forgive you. How can we transform our mind to release our heart of guilt and accept forgiveness?
Admit you Need Forgiveness
There were two men hanging on crosses next to Jesus; both were deserving their punishments. One asks for forgiveness, and receives paradise; the other man dies in his sin.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Receiving forgiveness is hard. Just the very act of understanding we are in need of forgiveness is a tough pill to swallow. It is humbling to focus on your own short comings, while avoiding justifying our actions. Truly receiving forgiveness requires us to own up to our faults. Not “I messed up because of…” (fill in the blank), but merely, “I am sorry for…” (fill in the blanks)
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Not the Going Trend
“Turn the other cheek” appears more of an optional view in today’s society. If someone does something mean to us, we are encouraged to do something back, “Stand up for ourselves,” “don’t be walked all over.” With this attitude and example, how would we know what true forgiveness looked like or felt like? We soon find ourselves on the receiving end of needing forgiveness, and the thought becomes overwhelming. It is so much easier to flee, or brush things under the carpet, then admit we are not perfect. Whether it is towards the outside world, or God we put up this facade that we are untainted. We soon become ingenuine, because the mask we are presenting is far from the truth. We should let others and God into our heart and receive forgiveness, instead of trying to hide behind perfection. We are going to Heaven because of God’s grace, not because we are perfect.
Grace: (def.) undeserved favor or merit.
My mom would say, “Try to assume the best in people.” This obviously doesn’t mean that the outcome is always going to be what I hoped for, but it encouraged me to stop viewing people through their negative past mistakes. That is how God is with us. Every day is a new day, and He keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor. 13:5). When you truly feel forgiven, you want to please God with your life, this isn’t because He won’t forgive us unless we are perfect. He already has forgiven us, so we want to thank Him for His gift.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
God’s love goes beyond our failures. He knows we have made and will continue to make mistakes. Nothing is too hard for Him to comprehend. It’s hard enough receiving forgiveness from a friend we’ve wronged let alone a God who knows everything. God promises He will forgive us. Make today the start of releasing the guilt you may have of a past sin and thank the Lord for new beginnings and undeserved grace.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.