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The God of another chance

Written by on 25 February 2024

God isn’t just about giving second chances; He’s all about giving another chance. And let’s face it, most of us tend to mess up that second chance pretty quickly! One of the amazing facets of God’s character is His incredible patience with us. Psalm 86:15 says it well:

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.

Living trophies of God’s grace

The Bible is packed with stories of people who got not just one but second, third, and even fourth chances! Peter, Jonah, Mark, Samson, David, and many others. They’re like living trophies of God’s incredible grace in action.

Just as God is patient and forgiving, He wants His children to be patient with and forgiving of others. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).

He gives us second chances, and we must give the same to others. Jesus gives a stern warning to those who refuse to forgive, saying that if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:15; see also Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; and Proverbs 19:11). If someone is truly repentant, then we are obligated to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22).

Forgiveness and reconciliation

Offering forgiveness is not the same thing as reconciliation. Many people struggle to find the balance between showing mercy and enabling a harmful person to continue harming. We should be willing to forgive everyone who wrongs us, just as Jesus forgives us. But, when someone continues to violate another person’s boundaries unrepentantly, a wise person learns to set firmer boundaries. If a man has repeatedly punched you in the face, you can offer to forgive him; but you don’t stand within arm’s distance until he has proved over time that he has changed.

Giving someone another chance means we give him another chance to earn our trust. But that does not mean we instantly forget what experience has taught us. Trust must be earned over time, and we are foolish if we give trust prematurely. We can have a loving and forgiving heart that also practices wise guardianship over our lives.

When we have wronged someone, we have no right to demand another chance. But we should work to earn another chance by continued demonstration of repentance and change.

Not a free ticket to sin

Even God has a limit on forgiveness. In Romans 1:18-32, the apostle Paul warns us what happens when we continue to spurn God’s patience and reject His call to repentance. Three different times, the phrase “God turned them over” appears. When we insist on running our lives the way we want rather than the way God wants, He lets us. Eventually, He lets us go when our hearts are hardened against Him. He turns us over to a reprobate mind, one that can no longer seek God. At that point, sin has become our god.

There may come a time in a human relationship when the same thing has occurred – when forgiveness has been offered and restoration made possible, but one party refuses to repent and rejects all efforts to reconcile. It may be time to end that relationship. Second chances are no longer working. Ending a relationship is a last resort, but sometimes it must be done (Matthew 18:17).

God does everything possible to draw us to repentance, offering forgiveness and second chances (2 Peter 3:9). But if we continue to reject Him, the offer is withdrawn and, at death, there are no more chances (Hebrews 9:27). God’s grace is our model. We can offer second chances to others until a healthy relationship is no longer possible.

For more Biblical teachings, listen to this podcast on Daybreak or read our daily devotional, The Word for Today.

The views expressed herein are those of the presenters and not Radio Pulpit.


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