To err is human or so we’re told. Nobody likes making mistakes. And no one likes to think they may have sinned.
The truth is, we do sin, all of us from the least to the greatest.
There is only one man who knew no sin and we are not that one. We could likely have a really terrific discussion on big sins and little sins.
We probably think Hell is going to be hotter for some people than others but I’m not so sure we have the Word to back that up.
We will answer at our each appointed time for what we have done to this same perfect man who knows it all, our past and our present.
We will stand before the Judgment and give an account. But for some of us, judgment has already begun here.
We are presenting our case and passing sentence upon ourselves and the punishment is severe and harsh, unforgiving.
King David was a man after God’s own heart. Why? Was it because he was real with God? Was it because he could acknowledge his mistakes?
He did complain a lot and he also asked God a lot of questions. At times he felt God had forsaken him and he told him so.
I think it was because, when David finished complaining, finished questioning God and moaning and groaning, he repented and began praising God with everything he had.
He could say “I’m sorry” and absolutely sing his way out of it. Maybe God liked his harp playing, or maybe even though he had another man murdered, he was still one of the finest men who ever walked here.
“My sin is ever before me.” And it was. David suffered a terrible price for his mistakes. He beat himself up pretty badly for the things he had done, but God would not allow him to stop singing and playing his instrument. God liked to hear him too much.
No matter what your mistake might have been, no one can punish you like you can punish yourself.
It can be harder to forgive yourself than it is to forgive others. When you are making amends to those you have harmed, you are usually the last person on the list.
“How in the name of God could I do that?”
“What could I have been thinking when I went there, or said that or took that when I should not have?”
“If only I could go back and change it, I would do it differently!”
“If it just hadn’t happened that way.”
“If I had thought about it longer, if I had called first, why didn’t I listen, how could God let that happened to me, why didn’t I pray more, why didn’t I just say I’m sorry, if only I could undo it.”
“Why didn’t I just let it go?”
“I should have known better. Why didn’t I keep my mouth shut?”
If I could only live my life over, if, if, if, if……..
Don’t you think you’ve suffered enough?
Once I thought I did something terrible — and it probably was terrible — and I sought out someone to confess my fault to, like we’re supposed to do.
I sought out that special person whom I felt I could trust and I went into great detail about how bad I was and just what an awful person I had been and that I just couldn’t forgive myself for it all.
When I finished pouring my heart out, this person looked at me with great disdain and said, “Just who do you think you are? You must really think you’re something special.”
Well, I knew I was rotten and now the person was confirming that and I was ready to take my medicine.
He then asked me, “Did you ask that person to forgive you?”
I replied, “Yes I really did.”
“Did you try to make amends for what you did?”
“Yes, I tried everything I could.”
“Did you ask God to forgive you?”
“Oh yes,” I said, “I sought it with bitter tears.”
“Do you think God forgave you?”
I answered, “Yes, I know He did.”
He again said, “Then just who do you think you are?’
I said, “Huh?”
Then this person started to rake me over the coals. “You must think you’re better than everyone else. You must think you’re even bigger and better than God!”
My mouth was hanging open, I promise. And then came a comment that stopped me on the edge of eternity.
The words were, “Do you mean to tell me that God Almighty Himself has forgiven you, but your wisdom is so much better and you are bigger than God, in that you cannot forgive yourself?
How dare you. Just who do you think you are?”
It took a few moments before it slowly began to sink in.
It is possible to be in prison, although you walk freely on this earth from day to day. There are no bonds or chains except the ones you have put there yourself.
God loved us, and He still does, no matter what we’ve done and no matter what anyone else thinks.
Jesus Christ died for us and took our sins upon himself. Isn’t it about time we let it go?
You can’t go back and you can’t undo most things. But you can be different today. You can live to the best of your ability — today.
Others may not forgive you. If you have done everything you can, then it is now their problem, not yours.
God never intended for you to spend the rest of your life in a prison that you may have constructed for yourself.
If you know you’ve suffered and you know you’ve paid, open that cell door and let yourself out.
If God doesn’t hold it against you anymore, then you have no right to hold it against yourself.
If that person never forgives you, they will answer to God. That’s just not your business anymore.
The LORD could have healed us a long time ago if we had allowed him to. Therefore, court adjourned! Case dismissed!
First published: April 11, 2010.
~ Robert Blackburn