Ever Done Anything Wrong?

‘Have you ever done anything wrong?’ was a question I asked a friend a few years ago as we were chatting together. His honest reply was, ‘Yes, of course I have.’ I then said, Have you ever asked God to forgive you?’ His answer again was honest, ‘No, I haven’t … perhaps I should.’

One of the major problems in society today is that many of us refuse to acknowledge, let alone say sorry and ask for forgiveness, for the wrong things that we have done. So, we have demonstrations and riots in the streets because of unfairness and injustice and we have our political, social and scientific leaders denying that mistakes have been made; as well as families and friends torn apart through unforgiveness.

But there is an answer … there is good news for all of us.

We must remember that the Lord God Almighty very much desires for us to know Him as ‘Our Father Who lives in heaven’ and we should pray (with meaning and sincerity), as Jesus taught His disciples,'Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.'

Why did Jesus tell us to pray this?

It is because there is no other way to know peace in our hearts, freedom from guilt and for the stains of sin to be washed from our minds and consciences. This is the centre of the Christian faith: that God gave His only Son, the Lord Jesus, Who died in our place on the cross, taking the punishment for our sin. The Bible tells us, ‘If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

You see, it really is our sin that causes the problems in our own lives and in this world; and until we face up to our own wrong-doing and humbly come to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness, then nothing will change, we will continue, separated from God and go on to more disasters and destruction.

This was the content of the discussion with my friend who I mentioned at the beginning. I asked if he would like me to lead him in a prayer of confession and ask the Lord to forgive him … and he replied,

Yes please, I would like that’

So we prayed. And the wonderful thing is that ‘Our Father Who lives in heaven’ heard and answered that simple prayer ... and the life of my friend began to change from that day onwards.

I’m sure that we can all agree that our nation is in a mess … and that our world is in a mess. But God has a way for us through the disasters of life … if only we would ask for His help and forgiveness.

Another difficulty is that Jesus tells us, ‘if we do not forgive those who sin against us, our Father cannot forgive us our sins.’ I find that a very sobering and challenging word, for I know that there are many who are suffering in their own lives because they refuse to forgive those who have hurt or damaged them.

The truth is that through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we can know a tremendous joy and peace when we know we have been:

  • forgiven for all our sin
  • cleansed from all the stains of sin
  • freed from all our guilt.  

Do you know that?

Jesus encourages us to pray with meaning and sincerity, thanking Him for dying in our place:

‘Our Father, Who lives in heaven … Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.’