The purpose of Wooddale Church is to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.
“It is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.” – Grace Hopper
This is a common misconception. Asking for forgiveness can be a very difficult thing to do. Why is it so hard?
• Sometimes we do not want to admit to ourselves that we offended or hurt someone.
• Sometimes we do not want to admit it to the person we hurt.
• Sometimes we are not sure we offended someone.
• Sometimes we feel our apology will be rejected.
• Sometimes we are not sure if the person will use it against us.
• Sometimes we want to stuff it deep in our minds and try to forget it.
• Sometimes we doubt that our apology will be taken as sincere.
No matter how you rationalize it, asking for forgiveness is the only way to clear our conscience. It takes humility and courage. You have to trust that the person will not use it against you. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
While you cannot know in advance how your confession will be received by someone, you can completely trust God to forgive you if you sincerely ask for forgiveness.
Colossians 3:13-14 tells us that as believers we should practice forgiveness. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Asking for forgiveness is acknowledging that you hurt or offended someone by words, deeds or circumstances – directly (malice) or indirectly (gossip), intentionally (deceit) or unintentionally (neglect).
One purpose of asking for forgiveness is to provide guilt-relief for the offender and conflict-relief for the offended. But the higher purpose of asking for forgiveness is to reconcile.
2 Corinthians 5: 17-21 gives us insight into reconciliation. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against
them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God who made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Reconciliation is re-establishing a close relationship. God has forgiven us so that we can be close to him again. Asking forgiveness isn’t easy, but it does help us maintain a solid relationship with God.