I Need Forgiveness

Question from a Site Viewer
I’ve sinned with my body and slept with many women. I’ve lied to the woman I love. I want to repent and follow God. The woman I love has left me due to the lies. Will she ever forgive me? Will God ever forgive me? I desperately need forgiveness.

Tim’s Answer
I appreciate that you took the time to write. Paul writes to the Ephesians and says we should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, being excluded from the life of God because of ignorance and hardness of hearts, for they have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of impurity (Ephesians 5:17-19). Satan is a master deceiver and he tells us that life is about finding ways to serve our own desires and wants. But, when we make our desires the focus of our lives, we find ourselves enslaved to desires. And the more we seek to satisfy such desires, the more emptiness we feel and the further estranged from God we become.

There is another way to live. It is a life where we control our desires and they do not control us. Part of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 is self-control. We want our relationship with God to be vibrant and real, where we love God with all of our heart and seek Him and His will. The only way to live this life is to walk with God, every day. We need to make it our desire to please Him in everything. And we do this by drawing close to Him (James 4:8). By persistent prayer, memorization of His word, and seeking His will in all areas of our lives, we will grow to love Him and in turn He will enrich our lives with Himself.

You ask if God will forgive you. God will forgive those who repent and turn to Him. This is the lesson Jesus wants us to understand from the three parables of Luke 15 (the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son). God is in the business of taking people out of sin and bringing them into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. That is His great joy. So, the choice to turn and seek to follow Him is always open to those who have experienced the emptiness of sin. He is gracious and merciful to us all.

You ask whether your friend will forgive you. I do not know the answer to that question. When we sin, that sin always has consequences. When David sinned with Bathsheba, the consequences were that he experienced the death of their child and the death of two other children, among other consequences. If I steal something from someone and then turn to God, I will find forgiveness from the Father. But I may still spend time in jail for may sin. Part of turning from sin is the acknowledgment that our sin has hurt someone else and understanding that the injured person does not owe us forgiveness. Forgiveness always is a grace to be given, not a right to be demanded. Thus, when we sin against others, we cannot demand their forgiveness. Contrition includes the understanding that our sin has caused the other significant pain. It is not right to inflict further pain by demanding forgiveness. Rather, all we can do to undo the consequences of our sin is pray to our God and hope for mercy from the other person. And we can learn from the situation and live life differently in the future.

I hope that your friend will forgive you. I know that God will forgive you if you turn to Him. May you find in Him your joy and peace and a life focused on His kingdom.

one who also has experienced the forgiveness of the Father,

tim

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