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It is very fitting for me to write on the topic of forgiveness this morning, as I am dealing with finding the strength to accept Godís forgiveness and forgive myself. I was on vacation last week in the company of many people that were non-Christians. If anyone ever doubted 1 Corinthians 15:33 (Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character), I can honestly testify to that fact. I felt spiritually dead throughout the trip, I compromised on a lot of things that I normally wouldn't, I went to a lot of places that I normally wouldnít have gone, and I just wasnít much of a Christian. I take complete responsibility for everything I did, but I should have been more careful of the company I kept.

Here I am today, back in the real world, and I have been having a hard time getting back to ďmy life.Ē I donít even feel worthy enough to be writing this, but Godís work must continue. The point I am trying to make here is that we ought to be careful about the company we keep. Bad company does corrupt good character and good morals, and it is better to avoid sin that to sin and try to get forgiveness. However, if you do sin, be quick to seek forgiveness and accept it when you do get it. The devil is on a mission to leave us feeling depressed and unworthy because the longer we stay in that state, the harder it becomes for us to get back on track with the work at hand.

It is easier for us to forgive others than it is for us to forgive ourselves because when we wrong God we don't think we deserve his forgiveness so we dwell on our sin and thereby give the devil a foothold. Acceptance of God's forgiveness is an act of faith on our part. It takes a lot of faith in God for us to be able to forgive and stop beating ourselves up. We think we don't deserve his love/forgiveness, and we don't. But he has made the promise to us that he will forgive us if only we ask, and we need to believe in that promise (1 Jn 1:9) God loves us, and when we come before him with repenting hearts, he forgives us, and we HAVE repent to be able to move on. To repent, we have to forgive ourselves and move past the sin we committed.

So brethren, I leave you with this: Avoid sin at all costs if you can, but if you do sin, quickly repent and get back to work. Allow God forgive you and try to forgive yourself as well. I donít know what the reparations for your sin will be, but the most important part is forgiveness. David lost his son because of his sins, but God forgave him, and he moved on to do greater things because he didnít dwell on his sin.

Father, help us to understand your irrational and unconditional love for us. Help us to accept your forgiveness and move forward in our lives. Help us to grow closer to you. Give us the strength to move away from our sinful past and toward your Holiness. Thank you for having an offer of forgiveness waiting only for our asking and accepting. In the name of the Author and Perfector of our faith, who bought our forgiveness with His blood, Jesus!

Stay blessed in the Lord and spread the word.

In Christ,

Rachael Olorunnisola

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