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Why Seeking Forgiveness Is So Important

We may not always get it, but it’s worth asking for.

Credit: Getty Images

Earnest Hemingway’s story “The Capital of the World,” is about a father and his teenage son, Paco, and is set in Spain. The son wants to become a matador to escape his father’s control so he runs away to the capital, Madrid. The father, desperate to reconcile with his son, follows him and puts an ad in the newspaper with the simple message: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the Madrid newspaper office tomorrow at noon. All is forgiven. I love you.” Hemingway continues, “The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office there were 800 ‘Pacos’ all seeking forgiveness.”

Hemingway’s story captures the human need to be forgiven. While there is no assurance that those we hurt and offend will forgive us, we should still try. Forgiveness can be hard to obtain, but it’s not impossible.

One key thing in seeking forgiveness is to not make excuses for our actions. This will only make things worse. Instead, we should express our deepest regret for the pain we caused—sometimes that acknowledgement is all that’s needed.

If the person is unwilling or unable to forgive us, we must accept it as a consequence of our actions. It doesn’t mean that forgiveness will never happen. When we least expect it, there might be a change of mind and heart. But we can find peace knowing that we did the right thing in asking forgiveness even though the outcome wasn’t what we hoped and wanted.

Seeking forgiveness from God is a different and transforming experience. The grace and mercy of God is beyond our imagination and comprehension. We may wonder, Is my sin beyond God’s forgiveness? The answer is no. God’s grace is boundless and infinite. There is nothing we could do that is beyond His love and redemptive grace. One of the great truths of God’s character is when we confess our sins, we will be forgiven.

God’s forgiveness releases us from guilt and provides peace of mind, relief from distress and gratitude in our heart. In return, we forgive others as God has forgiven us because “all is forgiven” are words everyone wants and needs.

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