By Chris Bunton
I hear some Christians say this a lot. “God is a God of second chances.” Every time I hear it, it is like a punch in the face; because I need a God of infinite chances. And so do they, despite what they might believe.
They seem to often believe that if you don’t drink, smoke or chew, or run with girls that do, that you’re ok. If you haven’t been arrested for DUI or drug possession you’re ok. If your marriage is still intact, or you haven’t been fired, you’re ok. They often ignore the sins of pride, gluttony, idolatry, lust, covetousness, and un-forgiveness. They think that since they only sin a little that they are not one of those people who need a second chance. They are in God’s good graces, and no harm shall come to them. But, they are wretched and poor and do not even see it. They don’t realize that they need third, fourth, fifth, and thousands of chances, just like me, and you. They are blind to the fact that every day, they need infinite chances, yet they only want to give others one more chance.
Jesus said “I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven”—Matt. 18:21-35. He said this after Peter asked Him how many times he should forgive his brother. “Up to seven times?” Peter had asked. Then, Jesus gives a parable showing how we are to forgive others, and how God is angry that we do not.
But, there is an under lying lesson; it shows us how often God forgives us. We read the parable and we think it’s one time. And it is. But, it is a forgiveness we experience and work through every day, even though He forgave it all already. We have no right to hold things against others because of what God forgives us of everyday.
It’s not easy to forgive. It’s certainly not easy to forgive the way God forgives. Ask, yourself, “What if God forgives me the way I forgive others?” Maybe He doesn’t answer your prayers because you ignore others who have wronged you. Sure you forgive, but you never forget, right? Fool me once, right? I fall into the same trap.
But God is not like that. He forgives. He lets us off the hook. He throws our sin into the deepest sea and remembers it no more. He removes our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. It’s gone. Never to be brought up or remembered. That’s God, and that is what we are to work to do. That’s godliness. Being like God. It’s being like we want God to be toward us. It’s hard, and we can’t do it on our own, we have to let Him do it in us, and through us. But, we must be willing and we must take that first step, and He will come rushing in.
God is a God of infinite chances. He is a God of growth, a God of design and building. He doesn’t quit. God is not a quitter. He doesn’t say “Oh well, you messed up this time. I’m done with you. I didn’t see that coming. I came and died for you, but I never imagined you would do THAT! Are you kidding me? Pack your stuff and get out. Get out of my house.”
Nope, He washes you when you turn to Him. He doubles down His efforts, and works even harder to mold you. He is there. It is God’s goodness that brings men to repentance. No matter what, turn to Him, and do not run away. Talk to Him, and be real with Him. Tell Him, what’s up. He already knows, but He wants you to see it, and come to agreements with Him on it. By confessing it to Him, over and over and over again, it gets old. It starts to work out of you. It gets less and less, as He works. Trust Him.