Today’s devotional: more than just “I’m sorry”

Do you know what it means to ask for—or grant—forgiveness? We see plenty of apologies offered and accepted in public life. How many politicians, disgraced pastors, or other public figures have mumbled halfhearted apologies after they’ve been caught doing something they shouldn’t?

According to Tammy De Ruyter in this Words of Hope devotional, Biblical forgiveness goes far beyond saying “I’m sorry”:

Our culture has reduced the “apology” into a justification for wrongdoing. Politicians regularly appear on television to apologize for “errors in judgment.” Sins are airbrushed as “mistakes.” A quick “I’m sorry” and everyone is expected to overlook the offense and carry on with life. And often that is what happens.

….Forgiveness, according to Scripture, demands that we look squarely at our
sins and assume full responsibility for our actions. Only then can we ask God to forgive us. We, in turn, have the responsibility to do likewise when we are sinned against. C. S. Lewis writes, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Faith is living with the understanding of how much Christ has forgiven us, then turning around and forgiving someone else. It’s not easy, not by a long shot, but it is life-giving, God-honoring, work. Is there someone you need to
forgive today?

Read the full devotional at Words of Hope.

10 Responses to “Today’s devotional: more than just “I’m sorry””

  • ParthaSaradhi Thota says:

    Very good truth…nice info on forgiveness

  • Grace says:

    It took a very long time for me to really understand God’s forgiveness. I found myself repeating and repeating the same plea for forgiveness on sins I had commited in the past … finally someone smarter than I said “God isn’t deaf! He heard you the first time”. A short time after that I realized, fully realized in my spirit, that it’s through God’s grace and the blood of Christ that I am truly forgiven.

  • sidney says:

    My problem is I ask for forgiveness from god for my sin then feel as if i don’t deserve it. I still feel depressed ashamed and guilty . I never really feel as if i am forgiven by god.

    • Debbie says:


      Here is the best way I can describe what you seem to be doing to yourself. Imagine a courtroom containing only 4 entities: God, Jesus, you and satan. God is the judge. Jesus is your mediator. You have sinned. You walk to the front of the courtroom in handcuffs (the bondage of your sin). You confess what you have done and ask forgiveness of God. God looks at Jesus, and Jesus says “My blood has covered this sin.” God says “Forgiven!” and bangs the gavel. Then walks out of the courtroom. Jesus unlocks your handcuffs and they fall to the ground. You and Jesus turn to walk out of the courtroom, and at the back of the courtroom stands satan. As you walk past satan, Jesus says, “do not listen to him.” But satan talks and you listen. Satan says “shame on you! look at what you’ve done! you should feel guilty! you need to be punished!” And satan holds out the handcuffs to place them back on your wrists. Jesus says to you “Do not listen. My blood was spilled for this very thing!” But because you don’t FEEL forgiven, you reach out your arms, and let satan put on the handcuffs. You have just given yourself over to bondage of satan, when God just set you free!!!! Do not ever let your feelings control your actions. Rule your life by fact. The fact is, you are forgiven! Satan can use our feelings to keep us in bondage. Recognize this as an act of satan. God forgives us the first time we sincerely repent. Resist the urge to beat yourself up afterwards; resist the urge to “feel” guilty. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And then the feeling of freedom and forgiveness will come!

      • Jay says:

        That is a really touching…I’m going to share this with everybody I come across in hope that it touches the lives of those who never feel forgiven and those who need to forgive.

        I knew in my heart to forgive those who have done me wrong but deep down I guess I was searching for every reasons not to forgive ‘bitterness’ had consumed me but after reading what you wrote I’ve come to realize I had been freed from my bondage when God forgave me and by not forgiving others I’m asking satan to put the handcuffs back on.

  • Brian says:

    Because God commands us to forgive, I can forgive, but do I forget?

  • John says:

    I have wronged the dearest person in my life. I am deeply sorry, and sincerely apologetic. I pray to the Heavenly Father to forgive me. Other than my own constructed prayer, what is a recommended prayer line that I may draw from?

  • Andrew says:

    Where do I draw the line between forgiving and forgetting?

  • Brian says:

    Forgiving is the act of not holding a sin against someone – you can forgive without forgetting – you will never forget what happened – however – if you tend to focus on those acts – those negative things – it makes it hard to forgive – because if those are your focus – then it makes it hard not to hold those things against that person

    I hurt the person I love the most – my wife – and she is having a hard time forgiving me – but forgiveness and love are a choice – not a feeling – we think we should “feel” a certain way – faith is not about “feelings” – I pray that God will help her to forgive me and not to lean on her “feelings” so much – “feelings” have little to do with true spiritual matters

  • Mark says:

    Debbie, that is quite possibly the best description of forgiveness and guilt and how satan wants you in his grasp. Thank you with all of my heart for the post. I need now to make it a practice in my life as I also suffer from extreme guilt.