I was reading Psalm 103 last night. I LOVE this Psalm.
This line really hit me from VERSES 2 and 3: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases” Psalm 103:2–3
I was thinking about forgiveness. Why does God choose to forgive us? He doesn’t have to. We are by nature objects of self-centered deviancy. Yet in loving mercy, God chooses the path of forgiveness and grace. For that I’m thankful.
Here’s why I think God forgives.
Because we are made to move forward.
The fundamental purpose of mankind is to bring God glory through the advancement of ideas and production. In essence: PROGRESS. God’s first command to man was not a “Thou shalt not” but rather a BIG “Thou shalt.”
Genesis 1:28 says, (Thou shalt) “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
If we do not progress, we will regress, digress and get depressed. Advancement is in our divinely-originated DNA. God is an innovator and creator. We are made in His image to do what He does. When we aren’t progressing, we deny who we are and how we are made.
Our big problem is sin. Nothing stops progress like sin. Sin gets us off task with our true calling. When committed, we hurt ourselves and others. And even LONG AFTER its been done, sin will constantly attempt to corral our consciousness to that which we have done wrong… if we are not careful, we can obsess about our past for decades that God meant for fruitfulness.
So God forgives. He forgives you. If you ask, He wipes the slate clean. Later in Psalm 103, the writer nails this truth down with navigational precision: “as far as the EAST is from the WEST, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12. God’s grace places our sin out of satellite range. Are you seeing how much God wants you to get past your sin?
All this is so you can go as far as He created you to go. Stop looking back, and start moving forward.
As a Pastor, I’m finding forgiveness to be a constant ally in church leadership. I have made many mistakes as a leader. I have hurt others, made a bad call, run down a silly bunny trail that got us off mission many times. I can either obsess about those mistakes and stop progressing, start regressing, and end up digressing, or I can let the flood of God’s mercy wash away all my guilt shame and fear, embrace TODAY as a new day, live forgiven, stop sinning, and move forward. Someone once said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.” – Unknown.
What do you need to stop thinking about?
What do you need to stop rehashing in your mind?
What do you need to forget – so you can forge ahead in a new direction?
Let’s do what God has commanded. Be fruitful, multiply, and move on.