Read part 1 here: forgiveness part 1 to get some context for part 2.
In part 2, lets now take a look at how to be forgiven.
Lesson 1: Being forgiven doesn’t mean there are no consequences to your actions.
Shimei had been forgiven for threatening the king, as his life was spared. He, however, still had to face some consequences for his actions. Solomon, David’s son, put Shimei on house arrest, telling him not to leave his plot of land. Lifetime house arrest is better than being put to death, so this is a good thing for Shimei. It’s not like he was put up in a shack anyway, he had plenty of land and resources.
In our life, the same principles apply. If we do something wrong, there are always consequences to our actions. Let’s take the example of stealing from a family member I used before…even if the person you stole from forgives you, you still may face jail time or fines based on what you stole. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are consequence free.
Lesson 2: Being forgiven doesn’t give you a free pass to continue to mess up.
Shimei decided being on house arrest wasn’t a real big deal so he decided to leave. He had been given a second chance, and he blew it. Solomon had Shemei put to death after he blew it. If he had actually been sorry and wanted to show David and Solomon thankfulness that he had been forgiven, he would have taken care not to do wrong by them. Actions always speak louder than words.
The same applies to us, if we are forgiven, it doesn’t give us the right to continue hurting the person who forgave us. Sure we’re gonna screw up, but if we have something specific to avoid, and we are truly thankful that we have been forgiven, we will choose to avoid it.
Lets say I tell my wife I am going to clean the garage and then forget. I apologize and go clean the garage. She forgives me. I tell my wife I am going to clean the bedroom and then forget. Hmmm….how sincere did my apology seem if I continue to so the same thing. Just because she forgave me doesn’t mean I can continue to do the same things over and over.
At times you may find yourself doing this in your relationship with God. Ask him to forgive you, and then do it again. I know I do it. Just because we know He can and will forgive us from all of our sins doesn’t mean we have a free pass to continue doing things that hurt our Heavenly Father.
Proverbs 26:11 HCSB says:
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
If we continue doing the same thing, continue to ask the people we hurt and God to forgive us, and make no changes…we can be described as a fool.
I don’t like to be defined as a fool.
Lets ask others to forgive us realizing there may still consequences to our actions, and learn from these opportunities and make some changes.
When I screw up again and again, I’m so thankful we serve a God that is filled with forgiveness.
1 john 1:9 HCSB says:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Turn your sins and your life over to God, He created forgiveness, He is the ultimate forgiver, and will show you how to forgive and how to be forgiven.