The most faithful people in the Bible still had so many problems and sins. Why do you feel you can’t be as faithful?

The most faithful people in the Bible still had so many problems and sins. Why do you feel you can't be as faithful?

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Imperfect Examples

The Bible is full of men and women who made grievous mistakes. Yet God extended His forgiveness and mercy to them. We can see the murder and adultery of King David. We can see the Apostle Paul, who formerly persecuted the church so severely. We can see Moses, who murdered an Egyptian and yet became one of the greatest men in the history of Israel. Why then can’t we seem to forgive ourselves when we sin and make huge mistakes? Can we ever out-sin the work of Christ on the cross? Is there ever too much sin that the blood of the Lamb cannot cover? Some of the most faithful people in the Bible made terrible mistakes and committed horrible sins, yet many of them ended up in what is called the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. Why do you feel you can’t be faithful when so many other heroes and heroines of the faith failed and yet were called faithful at the end of their lives? I think that’s why God included all these examples of imperfect men and women–so that we’d have hope of forgiveness and being used by God.

The Woman at the Well

When Jesus met the woman at the well in John chapter 4, she tried to change the subject when Jesus revealed that He knew she was living with a man who was not her husband (John 4:19-20). The reason she had come to draw water at the well at high noon was probably because she wouldn’t have to face the other women of her Samaritan village. She came during the heat of the day when no one else would be there. She likely had a terrible reputation, and everyone in that small village knew about her. When she realized to Whom she was talking, she went back and told the entire village about Jesus, and they all came out to see for themselves Who Jesus was (John 4:28-30). Because of this woman of ill repute’s testimony, many in that village believed in Christ (John 4:38), showing that God can use anyone, regardless of their background–and that includes you and me.

Forgiving Yourself

Perhaps it is easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. It seems that we hold ourselves to a higher standard of forgiveness than even God does. When a person repents and puts their trust in the Savior, God cleanses them completely (2 Cor. 5:21), but we often don’t forgive ourselves as easily as God does. Some people whom I speak with find that the hardest person to forgive is the person they see in the mirror. But if we realize that some of the most faithful people in the Bible had serious problems and sins yet were still forgiven and used by God, maybe we can grasp the fact that God can use us, too. So my question is this: Why do we feel we can’t be just as faithful? The answer is we can be!

A Closing Prayer

Righteous Father, please help me to understand that if You’ve forgiven me, I must learn to forgive myself, for there is no sin you will not forgive. Help me to not trust my feelings but to trust what Your Word says about forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and to claim that as a promise and as truth, and in Jesus’ Great Name I pray.


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