In the last post, I talked about being holy, different in a way that reflects the heart of Christ. One of the most striking ways that Christ-followers can show they are different is humbly asking for forgiveness.
Several years ago, I had a Bible study with some high school seniors. One night we ended up talking about how we should handle it when we “mess up.” I mentioned to the guys that the six words I had said most to my kids over the past 18 years were, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” One of the guys stared at me in disbelief. Later he told me why he was dumb-founded: “My dad has never said those words to me!”
Unfortunately it’s not all that uncommon. We live in a world that applauds and encourages the façade of perfection. In reality, this side of heaven, we all have flaws—like plywood under fancy oak veneer.
I’ve found that authentically admitting our foibles and weakness is one of the most attractive, “holy” attributes that Christ-followers can exhibit. The non-believing world knows and embraces that they are less than perfect, and long to learn a God-designed way of dealing with that imperfection. If only we as Christ followers were willing to live the same way and be willing to accept one another in our less-than-perfect state.
God says, “This is the one I esteem: He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). This means that between now and when we see him face-to-face (1 John 3:2,3) we should strive for holy imperfection, while still longing to be like Him. The world will notice.
Is there some mistake you’ve made recently that you can admit to those who were hurt by it? Is there someone you need to seek forgiveness from?