God’s forgiveness is not conditional on us forgiving ourselves

Published 8:37 am Monday, February 12, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: A choice I made when I was a teenager is more than I can live with and taking my own life is something I consider often. I had an abortion because some of my friends had gone through it to escape the consequences. I thought the pain would go away, but it increases and the consequences of guilt is overwhelming. Counselors have told me that God will forgive me, but I can’t even forgive myself. But if I could, is it possible God would give me a reason to face life and make living worthwhile? – A.G.

Dear A.G.: God’s forgiveness is not conditional on us forgiving ourselves. The Bible says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NKJV). This means that even before we were interested in repenting and asking God to forgive us of our sins, God had already taken the initiative by making a way for salvation from sin, but we must acknowledge sin and receive Him as Savior.
Many young women have believed the lie that the baby they carried was nothing more than an inconsequential piece of tissue and have come to realize the truth too late. Many are now active in telling other women in similar circumstances about their experience and helping others not to do the same thing.
The widespread acceptance of abortion is a sign of something deeper within society. This is the tendency to decide moral questions based on whether or not they are convenient to a person. The Bible places the highest value on human life. It is sacred and of great worth to God, who created mankind “in His own image.” The Bible recognizes the unborn as being fully human. We must never think that we can solve one moral crisis by condoning another, but rather confess our sin, commit our lives to Christ, and live in obedience to Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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