God Forgives You. Just Ask Him.
You don’t have to live too long to get wounded. You may have some good friends to support you. But your memory bank may include a bully kicking you around. A parent or teacher whose sharp comments felt like knives sinking into your heart. A boss who made fun of nearly all your efforts.
Of course, for every tormentor you remember (or may still be around), you probably inflicted damage on someone else. After a bully mistreated you, did you hurt someone smaller and shorter? Did you constantly talk back to your parents and scream insults at them when you didn’t get your own way? Did you put down your boss behind his (or her) back every chance you had?
Humans hurt each other with outbursts, unkind words, and thoughtless actions. It happens so often the idea of God extending unconditional forgiveness may be beyond your imagination. Yet this promise appears throughout the Bible, and not just in 1 John 1:9.
God forgives you!
Jesus taught constantly about forgiveness. One time He told people around Him, “Forgive others, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:38, NLT). Years later, a close follower of Jesus named Paul spoke to a group of Jews. He said, “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:38, NIV). In a letter to a church in Turkey, Paul referred to Jesus this way: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NKJV).
This is the gift that is available from God. Forgiveness to set you free from the past. Forgiveness to help you deal with the mistakes that are part of life, regardless of your age. Forgiveness that is better than the latest fashions, mansions, toys, cars, or your favorite snack. It will never wear out, rust out, or expire after a certain date. God forgives. Just ask Him for it.
A Challenge For You…
Make a list of three people who mistreated you or inflicted wounds that lasted for years. Next, make a list of three people that you bullied, abused verbally, or just didn’t treat very well when you were growing up. Now, talk to God about those who hurt you and those you hurt. Ask Him to forgive those who hurt you—and you for the hurt you caused.
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