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It takes time...
Written By Dr. Dave Stoop
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." -I John 1:9
I remember working with a woman who had some very, very painful issues with her mother and she needed to work on them because it affected her in some behavioral ways that were counterproductive to her health and wellbeing.
During the third or fourth session, she said to me, "Where is this counseling going? I'm not really comfortable with it."
I said, "Well, we're working from a Biblical context and ultimately what you will do is to forgive your mother."
No sooner than I got the words out of my mouth, she said, "Forget it! I'll never forgive that woman!" I realized that she thought that you have to forgive right away; as soon as somebody says I'm sorry, you have to forgive.
I said, "No, we're talking about a process here and it's going to take time."
Now, is that biblical? Of course it is. We live in the New Testament era, in the time of I John 1:9. So, when I deal with God and my forgiveness, it's instantaneous because the price has already been paid. And when I deal with forgiveness toward another, he walks with me in truth and grace.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know that with you, all I have to do is confess my transgression, and you instantly forgive me. Help me to do the same. Help me to find my way toward forgiveness of those who have hurt me. As you have forgiven me, I want to forgive others. Amen.
Devotion: Have you found it hard to forgive others when they have hurt you? Do you accept God's forgiveness when you've wronged him or another? How does God's forgiveness of you help you in the forgiveness process toward others?
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"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
-I John 1:9