Big Sins, Big Forgiveness
by: Lisa Robertson
Our latest book, Desperate Forgiveness, includes a chapter that has the title “Big Sins, Big Forgiveness.” I guess that this is a provocative title because someone might think that we are saying that the more we sin, the more forgiveness God bestows on us.
In a sense, that is true. We can’t do something so evil – so despicable that God’s mercy isn’t big enough to cover it. And I’m glad of that.
However, when we come face to face with our sin, AND we understand that it has broken all bonds between us and our Father in heaven, AND when we begin to get glimpses of the majesty and glory of God, AND we begin to understand just a little bit of how far he had to descend to become like us in order to save us, wanting to continue in sin is the last thing on our minds.
I just wanted to get that out of the way before we go any further. Grace, rather than giving us a license to sin, teaches us to hate it and to follow our Lord Jesus (Titus 2:11-12).
Here’s the problem though – I’ve talked to literally thousands of women who have been caught up in horrible sins and whose guilt and shame have allowed Satan to convince them that they have no shot with God – that they might as well give up trying. He convinces them that God, as holy as he is, would want nothing to do with them. He whispers in our ears, “You’re too dirty for God.”
Maybe it was drug-fueled sexual impurity. Maybe you’ve lied and stolen from the ones you loved and who loved you. Maybe it was addictions. Maybe it was prostitution, or maybe it was like me – I had taken the life of my unborn baby in a vain attempt to cover up my sexual promiscuity.
Here’s one thing you and I need to know – nothing that Satan has promised us so far has turned out to pay the dividends he promised, so why would we listen to him about God? What if we have it all wrong about God? What if God’s love is so much greater than anything we could have ever imagined that he not only is willing to make us clean again (in spite of the horrible things we’ve done), but he begs us to come to him for healing and cleansing? What if he really wants our filthy selves?
What if that is true? What if, no matter how big our sin is, his mercy is greater? Would that be a good story, or what?
In our book, I compared myself to King David. We have a lot in common. We both were sexually impure. We both lied. We both took a life in order to cover up our sin. And we were both in denial for a period of time, until God used other people to expose the guilt that we thought we had buried where no one could find it.
In addition, David and I have one more thing in common – we could not receive God’s mercy and grace until we freely admitted our guilt before God and humanity and plead for God to make us pure again.
If you are caught up in addictive sin because Satan has convinced you that you are too far gone for God, I have a challenge for you. Read Psalm 51. David wrote this psalm after God used Nathan the prophet to confront him and expose his guilt. As you read it, I want you to look for the spirit of brokenness in David’s voice. And I want you to ask yourself, “Was David too far gone for God?”
Has God led you to a place of brokenness similar to David’s? Have you been taken to a place in your heart where you don’t care if God and all of humanity knows about the filthy things you’ve done – that all you want is to be whole again and to be able to stand before God in confidence rather than to run from him like you’ve been doing?
Truth be told, God has been working on you, hasn’t he? And you’re still in the chaos and shame that come from unresolved guilt – guilt that you haven’t taken to God – your life is in chaos – it is spiraling out of control. And no wonder – you’ve been running FROM God instead of TO him.
Read this psalm and then pray it to God. Ask him to give you a spirit of repentance and transparency.
Do it today – I promise you that you can trust him.