Devotional | Shannon Miller.

There was a time I discovered sin that had been growing in my heart unnoticed, like termites in a wall, and before I had pronounced any words of repentance—while I sat there silently horrified by the ugliness of my sin—I felt the tangible presence of Love in the room.  I was amazed and undone, to find that the Lord was so ready to be reconciled to me. Truly it is His kindness that leads us to repentance.  When was the last time you were awestruck by forgiveness?

C.S. Lewis described it this way, in his essay, “On Forgiveness”:
“The trouble is that what we call ‘asking God’s forgiveness’ very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses. What leads us into this mistake is the fact that there usually is some amount of excuse, some ‘extenuating circumstances.’ We are so very anxious to point these things out to God (and to ourselves) that we are apt to forget the very important thing; that is, the bit left over, the bit which excuses don’t cover, the bit which is inexcusable but not, thank God, unforgivable. And if we forget this, we shall go away imagining that we have repented and been forgiven when all that has really happened is that we have satisfied ourselves without own excuses. They may be very bad excuses; we are all too easily satisfied about ourselves.
“There are two remedies for this danger. One is to remember that God knows all the real excuses very much better than we do. If there are real ‘extenuating circumstances’ there is no fear that He will overlook them…

“The second remedy is really and truly to believe in the forgiveness of sins. A great deal of our anxiety to make excuses comes from not really believing in it, from thinking that God will not take us to Himself again unless He is satisfied that some sort of case can be made out in our favor. But that would not be forgiveness at all. Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness. And that we can always have from God, if we ask for it.”