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We’ve all experienced moments when we realized that despite all our efforts, we made a mistake and fell short of someone’s expectations. At times like this, it’s tempting to condemn ourselves and feel guilty. We may wonder if we’ll ever get another chance to redeem ourselves before others. Thankfully, no matter how many times we fall, God is always willing to forgive and give us another chance.
This is something that the world just doesn’t do. We’re expected to be self-sufficient and strong enough to make our own way in life; any weaknesses we have aren’t tolerated. However, God doesn’t operate like that. The times when we’re at our weakest are the times when God most wants us to rely on Him. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We can feel acute regret and remorse for our sinful acts, but our feelings of guilt and self-condemnation don’t accomplish anything positive. We can’t possibly atone for our own shortcomings; thankfully, we don’t have to. Our attempts to redeem ourselves aren’t necessary because we already received redemption when Jesus went to the cross for us. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
When we hurt someone else or do something wrong, God’s favor and forgiveness are available and ready for us to receive when we need it. We don’t have to work hard in an attempt to earn back others’ acceptance because Jesus bled and died to redeem us and buy us back from the power of sin. Approval from the world doesn’t matter; if we’ve been born again, God has already approved of us. “…For he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
Everyone messes up at one time or another but there’s no need to beat ourselves up over our mistakes. Jesus already took all the guilt, shame, condemnation, and punishment meant for us onto Himself. We’ve been forgiven by our Lord and Savior. “Where is the god who can compare with you—wiping the slate clean of guilt, Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, to the past sins of your purged and precious people? You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long, for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most. And compassion is on its way to us. You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing. You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean” (Micah 7:18, 19, MSG).
When Jesus comes into our lives, He kicks out any lingering self-condemnation and replaces it with the knowledge that we’re in good-standing with the Father. With Jesus living inside us we have redemption, because He is redemption. “He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name” (Psalm 111:9, NKJV). In the Old Testament, before Jesus came, the people had no second chance after they sinned. Now, our futures are much brighter because He is our second chance.
We most likely will continue to make mistakes for the rest of our lives because that’s part of being human. However, we don’t have to live feeling guilty or condemned for our sins, because we’ve been forgiven. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NLT). God offers us as many chances as we need.
For more on how accepting Jesus Christ gives us a second chance at life, click on the link to find the three-message series, The Face of Grace, in our eStore.
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