Daily Bread and Daily Forgiveness
Yesterday was a tough day because I failed to stand up for something I believe to be true. Basically, I was given an opportunity to represent Jesus to a friend and I whiffed the conversation like a two year old trying to hit a fastball. I’ll spare you the details of my failure, but it was real and so I crawled into bed last night feeling like Peter after he denied Jesus.
I tell you this, because I think you can probably relate. After all, we’ve all been there. We’ve all faltered and failed. And so we’ve all wondered, at one time or another: How do I move on from this failure?
My wife, Liz, kindly reminded me of the answer to that question as I sat in bed feeling like a failure. And her words were so profound and simple and life-giving.
Do you want to know what she said?
Ask Jesus to forgive you, then go to bed forgiven.
But what if my failure is something I swore I’d never do again?
The answer remains profound and simple and life-giving: Ask Jesus to forgive you, then go to bed forgiven.
But what if my failure was huge and epic and destructive and yucky?
The answer remains the same.
So that’s what I did. And as I asked for forgiveness from Jesus I was reminded of something he said when he taught his disciples to pray. I don’t know if you remember this, but Jesus actually told his disciples to pray for daily bread and daily forgiveness.
I think most of us are fine asking for daily bread. Right? Like, we don’t mind the idea that daily we’ll need God to provide. Nothing wrong with needing a bit of bread. That doesn’t hurt our pride too much.
But daily forgiveness? That seems to imply that we are failures who will fail somewhat consistently – perhaps even daily.
I think that is Jesus’ point. We need grace like we need food, which is to say we need grace daily. So Jesus taught us to pray for daily bread and daily forgiveness.
So here is a question to consider: Have you been asking for forgiveness lately?
I hope so.
You see Jesus wants you to experience forgiveness. He wants you to be set free from the burden of wondering if you are good enough. He wants you to be free from the fear that his love will run out. He wants you to be free from shame and condemnation. He wants you to know that his sacrifice on the cross always has been and always will be greater than the sum of your sin. So Jesus invites you to pray for daily forgiveness.
And here is the great news: When you ask you receive.
John says it like this: If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Paul says it like this: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
If you look at those verses, it becomes clear. Jesus wants you to live forgiven and free. Yet how often do we waste time rehearsing failures God said we could forget?