I have often found myself comparing God’s capacity and willingness to forgive to that of my own. It makes no sense: how can you know everything there is to know about me and still forgive and love me?
I have done some horrible things: The way I’ve treated my mother and been selfish toward my sister. Then there are the things people have condemned me for and those wounds cut deep.
In the bible I read that God is love. In 1 Corinthians 13, love is said to be patient and kind, does not envy or boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking or easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, trust, hopes and preservers. Love never fails. How can that be true? How can there be a love that would wash away all that I have done and am yet to do?
I am bathed in the shame of past events. To say, porn, homosexuality, alcoholism, sex, drugs—to God? No. How can I talk to God about those things? I don’t see God as being that personable. I see him as a dictator, an overseer, a surly old man waiting for me to trip-up. Not someone you bare your soul, fears, hopes, and dreams to. Certainly, not a friend
I dig deeper and find it is not a matter of knowing he can forgive me, but will he?
I take the chance and talk to him about it. I say things to the Lord that I have never said to anyone. Speak to him with both an openness and frankness unlike ever before. No lightning bolt shoots out of the sky, and the clouds do not grow dark. There is just him and me. In the room there is a stillness, a silence; I know he is here listening to every word. The air smells of patience, love, and kindness.
God is not only loving, he is fundamentally love. His love cannot be compared to anything here on earth or known to man because all I know will one day end. God’s love is not time’s fool, neither does it waver nor alter. His love is consistent, steady. Father’s willingness to forgive was displayed flawlessly on the cross when Jesus said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even then, in the midst of his anguish, He was able to see past his hurt to the truth: He died for me. He died and cloaked himself in my sin and shame so that I would not have to.
I now realize that God does not care about what I have done, or how bad I think it is. He just wants me to come home.
A love that never fails, it is absolute.
I stand forgiven: entirely, completely, and fully. Not because of anything I have the power to do but because of the power of his love.