Monday, March 10, 2014

Sin, Forgiveness & Reconciliation

If we were to sit down and make a list of every glaring sin we've committed… every bad word spoken, every ugly and vile thought, every poor choice and disobedience to God… all the lustful images, all the less than lovely ways we've behaved going all the way back in time… our lists would be undeniably long.

We are imperfect 
and loved by a perfect God.

Thankfully we are blessed to be given grace and God's unfailing love bestowed upon us… we are given forgiveness despite our glaring inadequacies and specks of flesh and sin.

So if we've been forgiven by God of our own sins why on earth can we not seem to forgive others or at the very least struggle with forgiving others of their sins against us? Good question. Probably because the sins of our own on that list just mentioned above are so easily forgotten, pushed away and shoved to the back burners of our minds. Despite perhaps much guilt over our past regretful choices…. we as humans may develop sudden amnesia when it comes to our own sins when we are mistreated by others… and instead have tunnel vision… only able to see the hurt inflicted and the grudge we hold against the boss who ticked us off last week at the office, the teenager who rear ended our car yesterday, the ex who won't stop pestering us and the person were related to by blood that continually wrecks havoc in our life.

Have we forgotten our sins God has forgiven?...  have we also forgotten the magnitude of those sins? We aren't "little sinners"… or "baby sinners"… or even "medium sinners." No, we are big sinners. The sooner we accept that fact, the sooner we face it and can admit, "Yes, I am indeed a sinner. I need heaping grace everyday not dinky teaspoonfuls…" the sooner we get over ourselves, push past our egos however big or small and we realize we need to forgive others. By focusing on the enormity of God forgiving all those ugly blemishes in our life, all those sins on our list of past and present, we will soon see how crucial it is to forgive others of their sins as well.

Can you say: 
"I'm the chief of sinners?" 

Can you say:
"I'm the worst sinner of all?"

Do you dare you utter the words: 
"My choices have been the ugliest of everyone's?" 

Are we walking in pride or humility? Admitting our gross sin isn't bragging… instead it's realizing how incredibly toxic it is to act like it doesn't exist… like ignoring a monkey on our back… when we address our sins openly with God instead of trying to hide our burdens or smuggle our skeletons into a dark closet we are not only pleasing God but releasing light into our life and pushing out darkness.

So no matter what we've done… no matter how big, how glaringly huge our sin is… we can repent. Ask for forgiveness. Then turn to our fellow man, our brother or sister and forgive them of their huge sin as well. God is looking for those who are ready to turn from sin and get back on a path that entails a right relationship with Him. He wants each of us to forgive and love others as He forgives and loves us.


Forgive yes... Reconcile too? 
People often think forgiveness and reconciliation automatically go hand in hand. Like a tidy package. A wife may mistakenly think a husband who is abusive toward her and who cheats on her must not only be forgiven but reconciled with. She forgives him but then what? Is she to close her eyes to his ill behavior if it continues? No. He has to earn her trust again. He has to jump through hoops to be with her. He has to commit to therapy. He has to show through repeated action that he can be trusted to do the right thing, that he is where he claims to be when he's not with her and not yell, scream, rant or hurt her ever again whether it be emotionally or physically. 

The 3 questions to ask yourself: 

1. Is my spouse a person who is essentially "good" who just did a very bad thing and WANTS to make things right? 

2. Or is my spouse a person who is very bad, who has shown a PATTERN of continual sinful behavior? 

3. Do my children and I benefit from staying... is the reward greater with reconciliation or with leaving? 

The husband who has committed great sin in a marriage has to roll up his shirt sleeves and dive in. Does it sound like a lot of work? Yes, it is and yet those are part of his consequences. God never said there wouldn't be consequences we had to live with. {We've all had to live with consequences due to our sins.} Part of the consequences from his poor choices is that to continue to be married to his wife he must prove to her he is willing to change. He must prove he is willing to repent, to kneel before God and admit all of his sin with humble sorrow. His promises to change, his words spoken to his wife are just empty pockets of air without substance if he won't follow throughIf she wants his passwords to all his social media accounts, if she demands to have his vehicle tracked by gps, if she states counseling is essential and he will be held accountable for every purchase he makes and every time he's five minutes late… he will comply if he's serious about earning her trust again and willing to ask God for help. A man who is ready to change and is truly repentant will humbly ask his wife "What can I do to help remedy this? What can I do to fix it? What can I do to help you?" Only once changes are visible to his wife over a period of time can she even begin to consider the possibility of trust and reconciling with him. If he can't walk the walk but can only talk the talk the relationship is infiltrated with stagnant sin that has a reeking stench… not renewal, not change and certainly not a deep desire of his to please God. 

© ~ 2014 

A wife who realizes that her husband is truly sorry for what he's done, 
that he is devastated by his sin and how it's affected her… 
is in the position as he to learn all she can from their counseling as well.  

He may be clinging to his sin… 
he may be unwilling to let go of the affair… 
he may be deeply entrenched and not willing to change. 
He may be defensive and prideful and feel justified. 
It's not to say that he won't regret his choices one day. 

He likely will. 

His regret may be instant. 
Or it might take time... maybe months... maybe even years…. 
however long it takes.... the question is… 
are you willing to wait, to stay and see that day?
Or does he need to walk that path without you? 

Even if it doesn't work out… 
even if we choose divorce… 
we can still choose to forgive,
we can still choose to use kind words toward our ex
and ask God for comfort and healing. 


He may at some point try to reach out… 
if he's a good man he may try to later, long 
after the divorce still try to make things
"right" and apologize. 
He may try to extend olive branches and such. 
You may forgive and yet still that trust isn't there. 
That fear is within you, 
that fear that if you leave yourself open, 
if you let down that wall and extend love he will hurt you again. 
So we close ourselves off… 
we may keep a far distance in the name of "protecting" ourselves. 
And although that's perfectly understandable… 
we also need to remember this about fear:

God says: "Do not be afraid…" 

Romans Chapter 8

“37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

King James Bible
What shall we then say to these things? 
If God be for us, who can be against us???

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading,

commenting and sharing! 

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