Forgiving people is something man struggles with. The Bible is filled with accounts of people who made mistakes but God forgave them and used them. Moses, David, Peter and Paul are just a few examples. Yet, if those men were around today, the modern church may struggle with forgiving them.
I have wondered at times why man struggles with forgiveness? God forgave and used people but with man, at times its like “1 strike and your out.” Why is that? It’s because it was God who forgave Moses and David and Peter and Paul. God forgives where man struggles with forgiveness.
In I Chronicles 21, there is a story of a time when David took a census of Israel and God was not pleased with it. Because of that, God was displeased with the nation of Israel and was going to punish David. He gave David three options for punishment; “You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
“I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
David says, “If I have a choice between God and man for punishment….let me fall into the hands of God.”
David knew that God was merciful and he had a better chance of God shortening the punishment than he did with man. David was right but it is sad that man can be so unforgiving. I encourage you, if you need to forgive someone, do it! If someone has asked for forgiveness, grant it! If someone has asks for a second chance, give it to them.
People make mistakes. We are human. But just because someone has made a mistake doesn’t mean that life is over. They can be used again.
I was talking with a Pastor friend recently who knows a man who has been divorced twice, but he’s the Pastor of a small church and the Lord is using him. Just because you have messed up shouldn’t mean life is over for you. God’s mercy is great – let us fall into the hands of the Lord.