Forgive and Forget
Bible Reading: Psalm 103:8-13
[The Lord] has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. Psalm 103:10
When James pried his little brother’s fingers off the jungle gym, he had no idea how badly he would hurt Eddie. All he knew was that his squirmy sidekick was not leaving him alone to play with his older friends. But as Eddie dropped from the top of the jungle gym, he struck three bars before landing in sand. A week after his fall, he still has a knot on his forehead and five more weeks in a leg cast.
Eddie won’t talk to James. Sometimes Dad and Mom yell at James; sometimes they stare at him silently through squinty, angry eyes. James cries himself to sleep every night, and he’s beginning to wonder if anyone loves him anymore. He’s even wondering if God can forgive him for what he did.
James is confused. He caused his family and himself some huge hurts. James worries his sin is too enormous for God’s love to cover. Yet the truth is that Jesus came into the world to die for James’s sins-all of them-including hurting Eddie.
If you want to measure the enormous size of God’s forgiveness, look at the life of King Manasseh, one of Judah’s most evil kings. Manasseh turned his back on God and led the nation into worshiping false gods (see 2 Chronicles 33:1-9). When Judah’s enemies captured him along with the rest of the nation, Manasseh humbled himself before God and prayed (see verses 12-13). Despite Manasseh’s evil past, God forgave him. Manasseh no doubt returned home seeing himself more as God saw him: worth being forgiven.
If God was able to forgive Manasseh’s staggering sins, James can surely count on God’s ability to forgive the wrongs he’s done.
Sooner or later most of us see ourselves like James—way beyond forgiveness. But what matters is how God sees us. King David sinned greatly. But as David wrote in the passage you read, the size of God’s love meant he wasn’t beyond forgiveness. David grabbed hold of God’s unlimited forgiveness and discovered the worth God saw in him.
God’s forgiveness is like a bottomless checking account. When we sin, there’s always enough money in God’s account to cover any withdrawal. Truth is, we can’t empty God’s account of forgiveness. When we draw on God’s resources, we can’t bounce a check. Every sin we confess, he forgives.
TALK: Feeling bad about your sins is normal. But are you letting bad feelings cloud the fact that God will forgive you? How are you going to grab hold of God’s forgiveness?
PRAY: God, thanks for forgiving us yesterday, today, and always. ACT: Share the great size of God’s forgiveness with a friend.