“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not is us” (1 John 1:8). Early in his first epistle, the apostle John states clearly that, although our sins are forgiven through Christ, no Christian lives without sin. Salvation is not found through moral perfection, but it is realized when children of God discern the Father’s call to walk in the light of Christ. We do not, however, always live such a gracious life.
Forgiveness is not easy. Sometimes we bear grudges. We remember the sins committed against us and are wary of the sinner, lest they repeat the offense. Other times we fail to realize how our actions hurt someone else. John teaches us that people who practice such behavior really do not understand the concept of grace. If we claim forgiveness through Jesus, but cannot forgive others or confess our sin, we are not walking in the light of Christ. The best we can do is stumble in the darkness.
John reminds us who we are; people who have known the Father. Knowing the Father means knowing the Son, through whom we are forgiven. So too are we to forgive as we have been forgiven. Only then can we truly recognize the truth that is in us.
Prayer: Merciful God, help me forgive others as you forgive me. Amen.