Tuesday, March 12, 2013

when you need to apologize and be forgiven

We're often wrong.  Way more than we like to admit.
 
 We're too harsh,
 too proud,
silent when we should be saying something,
we rush others,
we think words we would never say outloud,
we speak words that sting,
and we stretch the truth sometimes too. 

 
I don't think you and I need a list of possible wrongdoings to prove to ourselves how often we're wrong.  We know it in our hearts.
 

 
We all sin (Rom. 3:23) so that means we are all wrong sometimes. 
 
 Parents especially, think that because we have been given authority by God to parent the kids entrusted to us, that we can act however we want toward them in the name of frustration and discipline with no accountability.  It is correct to say that we have authority over our kids, but it is a fallacy to believe that we can ignore God's call for us to live at peace with everyone (our kids included), if we have a choice.
 
 
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
 
Romans 12:18
 
Our kids can't make us get angry.  They can't make us do anything, even pull our hair out.
 We choose to lose our temper.  We choose to hit snooze on our alarm clock too many times, therefore making us feel rushed before our feet even hit the floor in the morning. 
 
The art and act of an apology is sometimes ignored by us parents, and the population in general.
Chances are, is that if you aren't in the habit of apologizing to your kids or other people in your life for wronging them, then you probably aren't going to God and asking His forgiveness either. 
 
So often I go through my days, feeling guilty for how I've acted.  Apologies to those I love come easier these days, my walls of pride are slowly crumbling - and I apologize often - but it's that forgiveness that we should be seeking from our ever-loving God that is oft forgotten.  He seems far off - maybe it doesn't affect our moments like it would if our spouse is miffed because of the way we just snapped at them for putting the baby to bed the wrong way.  It goes easier for us if we humble ourselves, admit we were wrong, and ask for forgiveness.  We usually will see an immediate result. 
 
But we don't often view God's forgiveness the same way.  It feels distant.  The promise of something in the future maybe, but not for right now. 
 
 God is anything but far off.  If you ask Him to, He'll live IN you. 
You just can't get any closer than that. 
 
 
9 Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
 
Psalm 79:9
 
 
Sometimes we're confused.  Why should we ask for forgiveness of our sins?  Aren't we already forgiven as Christians, and praying for something that is already ours?  I love how Pastor John McArthur explains it:
 
The answer is that divine forgiveness has two aspects. One is the judicial forgiveness God grants as Judge. It's the forgiveness God purchased for you by Christ's atonement for your sin. That kind of forgiveness frees you from any threat of eternal condemnation. It is the forgiveness of justification. Such pardon is immediately complete-you'll never need to seek it again.
The other is a parental forgiveness God grants as your Father. He is grieved when His children sin. The forgiveness of justification takes care of judicial guilt, but it does not nullify His fatherly displeasure over your sin. He chastens those whom He loves, for their good (Heb. 12:5-11).

 
-- Judicial forgiveness deals with sin's penalty-parental forgiveness deals with sin's consequences.

-- Judicial forgiveness frees us from the condemnation of the righteous, omniscient Judge whom we have wronged-parental forgiveness sets things right with a grieving and displeased but loving Father
.
-- Judicial forgiveness provides an unshakeable standing before the throne of divine judgment-parental forgiveness deals with the state of our sanctification at any given moment and is dispensed from a throne of divine grace. So the forgiveness Christians are supposed to seek in their daily walk is not pardon from an angry Judge, but mercy from a grieved Father.

Yes, that makes much more sense. 

God will forgive us.  He will not withhold it from us.  Like a parent who forgives a wayward daughter, he is pleased to give it.  He isn't distant.  He's the furthest thing from far-off. 

 He's here, helping us teach our children these truths too.  Helping us carry out His calling for us.
We wrong often.  But daily, we're sanctified - growing more like Christ, and we pick ourselves up and take another step toward holiness. 

 
 
 
TheBetterMom.com


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