You can confidently ask God for forgiveness
seeking freedom from sin and shame: a 7-day devotional
Asking for forgiveness is hard. To seek forgiveness for an offense, we have to admit we were wrong. We have to come face-to-face with our guilt, then confess it to another.
Seeking forgiveness requires us to humble ourselves; to be vulnerable before another person. And if there’s anything we humans fear, it’s vulnerability.
But the reasons we fear asking for forgiveness are the same reasons we benefit from it. Each time we seek forgiveness, we remember that we are not perfect, nor could we ever be. Like David, who wrote Psalm 51, we were sinful at birth. And only Jesus could set us free.
David wrote this psalm after committing adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12). Imagine the lies David might have been tempted to believe: “You’ve done it this time! God will never forgive you for that.”
But by coming to God, vulnerable and humble, David gained a new understanding of the depth of God’s compassion and love. And so can we.
No matter how dirty or unworthy we feel, God still wants us to come to Him. Our service and our sacrifice won’t change the past, but “a broken and contrite heart” is the fertile ground where intimacy grows.
“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:16-17).
Can you think of a time when forgiveness led to greater intimacy in your relationship with a spouse, friend, or coworker?
Is there anything you’ve feared approaching God about? Will you follow David’s example as you pray today?