Until recently, I had no understanding of what forgiveness is and is not. I did not grow up in a home that modeled forgiveness – everything was brushed under the carpet and dismissed as not having been someone’s intentions, and therefore you should not be hurt. I was having a conversation with a couple of friends, and they figured out pretty quickly that I had no idea what it meant to ask for or to receive forgiveness. We talked for hours and during that time they blew my mind away. The following is my reflection on that life changing conversation.

You say you’re sorry, but what does that mean?
By accident or with purpose remains to be seen.
An accident? No worries, it’s all been forgotten.
But if not, it’s sin from a heart that’s rotten.
From there we go forward, but how to proceed?
Careful, for what we grow to reap, started a small seed.

Sinners sin against sinners. That should come as no surprise.
But to deny it with blind eyes gives sin power and a disguise.
‘Oops’, ‘my bad’, ‘I didn’t mean it’ only multiplies offense.
Reply ‘it’s OK’ is sin covering sin. Our debt grows immense.
Genuine human sorrow does not acknowledge our true guilt.
No fruit borne, just empty regret, a poison causing spiritual wilt.

Why does it matter if I am sorry or actively forgive?
It is crucial to understand so Christ in us can live.
There are two paths down which our feet can wander:
Rebel and perish, or repent and live – hmm, let’s ponder…
Since we know we hurt each other with evil intent,
Then as sinners, surely we’ll seek forgiveness and repent.

If you were sinned against, don’t let that end the story.
For sin allowed to grow, affronts God and dims His glory.
Fertilizing sin rapidly covers Christ’s path in weeds
Choking the Holy Spirit and how many of God’s seeds?
This is just crazy – God gave us a path straight and sure.
If it’s sin confessed, God gives us both hope and a cure!

Sin’s debt is from me to you and you to me, but Christ collects.
Horizontally and vertically sin has deep pervasive effects.
The gift of forgiveness and grace through Christ erases the rift.
All the debts we choose to hold; for us, He died on a tree to uplift.
He knew no sin, yet became sin to pay our debt with His righteous blood.
Sin is costly, as grace pours out more freely from a Christ forgiven flood.

Better to humbly ask forgiveness than pretending righteousness.
Love yields friendly wounds worth bearing over false gentleness.
Enthrone and uphold God’s glory above men and yourself,
Imparts sight and wisdom to grow seeds of Gods wealth.
Sow these seeds, salt the Earth, and shine with God’s light.
Love unhidden grows Christ’s glory amidst black night.


Lauren Patterson lives in North Carolina. By day she works as a data analyst. By night she has a passion for writing poetry and stories. Lauren enjoys the outdoors, the blessings of connecting deeply with others, theologically solid rap, and terrible puns.
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