On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
One the one hand, there is one thing that I know that everyone is really good at – sinning. That applies in varying degrees to all of us. Whether big or small, frequent or random, open or hidden, etc., we are all guaranteed that we will sin in our earthly flesh. We’re not perfect and will never arrive-fully this side of Heaven. On the other hand, an area that isn’t fully-developed for some of us is asking for forgiveness. Saying, “I’m sorry” and admitting that we made a mistake is a muscle that requires constant training. Some are naturally-Gifted in this regard, but many of us are not. God wants to forgive us – He sent His Son to show us that personally. When Jesus asked the adulteress, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?”, she replied, “No one, Lord.”; to which He responded “Then neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11). We retain our own sins due to our own pride and shame. God is a good Father/Parent – just like we try to be. He wants to forgive His Children and watch them learn/grow from their mistakes – just like we want to do with our own Kids (whatever their age). What matters most about sin is what we do after we’ve sinned. We are guaranteed to fail often in life, but we are not guaranteed to get back-up when we fall down, dust ourselves off, and move forward. When you can’t find the Strength to get back-up and forgive yourself, just say “Jesus”. There is power in His name and there is incredible power in forgiveness. He will forgive us; we only need to ask.