July 16, 2021

Faith—Facing Regrets

1 John 1:5-2:2

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

—  1 John 1:9

As I entered the long hall of the nursing floor, I saw a special friend, her small frame dwarfed by her wheelchair. She had lost some of her stature, but her sharp mind was up to a challenge any time we talked. My heart warmed in seeing her again.

As I greeted her, I saw that her face was twisted in grief; tears flowed down her cheeks. I gently asked about her sadness. She told me that a close relative had died. But then she added, “That’s not what is making me so sad. I didn’t like her. I never prayed for her.”

What can we say?

I said, “It’s painful—we can’t undo the past.”

But there is more to say, isn’t there?

Thank God, we can also say what I pointed out next to my friend: “God is very good at forgiving our past.”

And together we claimed the truth: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” That’s the good news of God’s love for us. He forgives us completely and gives us a new life to live.

My friend needed this good news. I need it. We all need it. And thank God—it is truly good news. He forgives us our sins and purifies us from all unrighteousness.

We need your forgiveness, Lord. Please forgive us and purify us from whatever our unrighteousness may be. Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving us. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Harvey Kiekover

Harvey Kiekover grew up on a Michigan farm and studied to go into pastoral ministry. He served as a teacher in Nigeria and as a pastor and chaplain in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He and his wife became the parents of three sons, and he enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren.

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