Forgiveness Let’s You Start Over

Forgiveness looks to the future

Earlier this week I talked about the fall of Eliot Spitzer and his residue of shame. I asked if he would have to live his life with the brand of his indiscretion or could forgiveness give him a fresh start.

The Bible tells a story about a woman who might give us some perspective. She was caught in the act of adultery and dragged to the center of town where the religious elders surrounded her and were ready to stone her.

In that culture her sin defined her. Adultery made her worthless and disposable.  It didn’t offer her any hope of a new life.

But just before the men threw the first stone Jesus stopped the men and said…

If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

Slowly the men dropped their stones and walked away…each one aware of their own sin issues. And then after the men left, Jesus turned to the woman and said,

Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared.Go now and leave your life of sin.’ John 8:10,11

Forgiveness gives you a new life

Jesus refused to define this woman by her sin.  He refused to reduce her entire existence to her weakest and most shameful moments. He knew that there was more to her than that. He refused to condemn her… which means to pass judgment on her, or make a negative decision about her value. Instead, Jesus forgave her and gave her hope of a new life beyond adultery.

If Jesus were to sit down with Eliot Spitzer today, I don’t think he’d spend much time talking about the sins of his past. I think he’d spend more time talking about the hope of his future and the potential that he has. That’s the nature of forgiveness.

Forgiveness looks to the future

Forgiveness doesn’t dwell on the past. Guilt dwells on the past. Condemnation dwells on the past. But forgiveness looks to the future. And so if you are struggling with guilt today I want to encourage you that God has a future for you. He hasn’t given up on you.

Why not receive his forgiveness and hit the “reset” button.

Question: Has forgiveness enabled you to hit the reset button? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.

  • This post is taken from the free e-book, Forgiven...once and for all. To get your free e-book subscribe to this blog.
  • To learn more about overcoming shame see Healing the Hurts of Your Past