Athlete, Find Freedom in Forgiveness
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I remember forgiveness being the first thing I understood about the Lord. Romans 5:8 hit me like a ton of bricks: “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (ESV).
I remember being struck with the intensity of that statement. It wasn’t “after we were done sinning and pulled our act together, Christ died for us.” No, it was in our exact moment of sin, Christ set aside His life so that we could live.
Ironically, I also remember forgiveness being the hardest thing to extend to and digest for myself.
I could conceptually understand that God forgave me and that He loved me. But to be freed from my shame, forgive myself and truly believe in God’s forgiveness and then live in that assurance only came as I continued to learn about Him. But it was not immediate.
It wasn’t until I was sitting in a church service listening to the lyrics from the song “Jesus Paid It All” — “Jesus paid it all/ All to Him I owe/ Sin had left a crimson stain/ He washed it white as snow.” — that clarity poured over me.
For the first time I could believe in my heart 1 John 1:9 that says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Today, I look at forgiveness and understand that we don’t deserve it, but that is the exact reason why we should live in a way that strives to honor God — to thank Him for it everyday.
If you are struggling with accepting forgiveness, remember, God doesn’t ask us to come to Him with it all figured out, because truthfully we never will. He simply asks us to humbly come to Him, offer up our crimson sin, and He will take away our shame and wash us white as snow.