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