Just yesterday, I took a US Government test and made a 60. Good news is though, the instructor told me what I missed, I got to go back and study and I was able to retake the test and I bumped the grade up to an 88. If it were not for retakes and second chances on this test, I would not have done so well. If it were not for retakes and second chance in life, every one of us would be left beaten down and abandoned because we all make mistakes. We all fall short somewhere in our lives.
No matter what we have done or how far gone from God we may be, He still loves us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This kind of love shows us that He has forgiven us from the beginning of our sin. He sent His son and washed our slate clean. He will not stop loving you when you abuse yourself or abuse others or even when you are angry with and protesting against Him; He is too wise and all-knowing to turn His back to you when you are down. When you are scared and all alone, He walks with you through the darkness. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is in love with you.
We should forgive
When I made a 60 on that test, the instructor could have said, “you should have studied harder.” or, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do.” But she didn’t. She chose to show grace, forgiving my low score and allowing me to retake the test. In turn, I made a much better grade. Imagine if she would have forgiven my score again…and again. Imagine how much better I could have done, how much I would have grown in understanding. God says forgive 70 x 7 times. Matthew 18:22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” One of the reasons I believe He wants us to forgive others is because He knows how much we learn and grow from our mistakes when forgiven and are shown grace and redirection from each other. The temporary discomfort we get from forgiving another and giving them a second chance far outweighs the bitterness when we live in a work where cycle is never ending torture.
Thankfully we serve a God who is forgiving and loving, one who will continue to guide us in the direction we should go no matter how many times we turn around. This same God will guide you to a lifestyle of forgiveness and freedom. Just ask Him! And it won’t be long before you are the one giving second chances!
Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.