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The Voice of the Black Community


Donít be afraid to ask for forgiveness
Published Friday, April 26, 2019
by James A. Washington, NNPA

How many of you have ever been too embarrassed to pray, too afraid or really just too ashamed? Maybe you were afraid, or perhaps just feeling a little guilty. I know this firsthand.

Sin, you see, comes in many shapes and sizes and colors and flavors. Only you and the Lord know how successful the world has been in tantalizing you to do exactly what you know you shouldn’t. Only Satan can tempt you in ways that leave you utterly defeated.

He reigns in a world where one of his primary jobs is to get you to do what you’ve professed to God and man that you would never do. And you know better. It must be rough then, when, instead of you calling on God, He makes a house call on you.

After Adam ate the apple, the Bible says God went looking for him. You see, Adam knew better and He knew in his heart, I believe, that he couldn’t hide from his creator. And so it is with us.

Real believers must pray and ask for forgiveness. In doing so, quite a few things should become crystal clear: one, you can’t procrastinate where God is concerned, and two, you can’t hide from the truth. And the truth is you’re a sinner. We all are. And to make matters worse, the closer you get to God, the more obvious it is to you and Him how much of a sinner you really are.

When sin succeeds in your life, it is appropriate to seek forgiveness. I’m just acknowledging how hard it is to be forthright enough to say to God through Jesus, “I’m sorry.” 

We know as Christians we are obligated to do our very best. It, at times, might seem like a cruel joke to aspire to something you’ll never be able to achieve. None of us will ever, never commit a sin against God. Living without sin is an impossibility. The obligation is to try. Our success lies in our effort and our intent.

We are obligated to seek Him out and let Him know that we know better and are truly repentant when we screw up. As a matter of fact, the closer we get to His light, the more likely we are to see the countless stains on our soul. Imperfection ingloriously stands out in the illumination of perfection. That’s just a fact.

We need to understand that it’s OK to look for the Lord even when we know we have no right to ask for His mercy. Part of the mystery of faith, at least for me, is constantly coming to grips with just how much God loves me. In spite of what little I have to offer, He receives me and you as He would His own Son.

I think it’s important to remember you can always go home. I used to say home was wherever Mom was. Now I know home is wherever God is.

If that be the case, and I’m trying to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit, then I have to accept that God resides in me and wherever I am is home. Hopefully, that should make following His Word and doing His Will easier, particularly when it comes to choosing right from wrong and asking for mercy when I go wrong instead of right.

The key is knowing that God is not interested in style. He’s only concerned about substance. Besides, only a fool would screw things up so badly that he is not welcomed in his own home.

Ashamed, embarrassed, afraid, guilty? It’s always better to go home and explain yourself. At least you know the people there really care about you. The alternative is just too frightening to contemplate.

May God bless and keep you always.



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