An Illustration to Help Us Understand Forgiveness

Imagine a husband and a wife disagree one day. (This is not a hard concept for any married couple to grasp.) This difference of opinion makes the man mad. He can feel the anger building up inside of him, and even though he knows better, he says a string of words and phrases the hurt her and drive a wedge in their relationship.

She goes to one room, and he goes to the garage to cool off. After some time passes, several things could happen.

First, he might not even acknowledge he did anything wrong. He doesn’t have to live by her rules. If she cares that much, then she needs to come to him. It is her problem, not his.

Second, he can come back and grovel. He can fall to his knees and plead with her to forgive him with tears. She then must weigh his sincerity. Is he really sorry? If she believes his emotions, then she can forget what happened and try to move forward together.

Third, he can try to make it right with her through his actions. He can start trying to be the best husband on the planet. He can make her dinner and wash the dishes. He can give her pick the shows they watch on TV. He can clean the house and make the bed. He can do one thing after another to show her that he is sorry. Once she feels he has done enough, then she can tell him everything is good, and they can go back to normal.

Finally, he could just walk back in the room and say, “I am so sorry for what I said, will you forgive me?” She could look at him, and out of her love, say, “Yes, all is forgiven.” Their relationship can be restored, and they can move forward in love together.

Which of these describes your relationship with God? Some people deny they need God’s forgiveness. Others try to earn forgiveness through emotions, good works, and penance. The Bible teaches that God so loved the world that he took care of our sin through Jesus. All we need to do is come to him and ask for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. He will forgive us, and our relationship can be healed.

God offers us forgiveness through Jesus Christ. You can stop trying to earn his love, just come and accept what he offers. Once you have received, make sure that other people understand how this thing works.

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