The Big Ask

Praise God for His Forgiveness

“Please forgive me.” I’ve said this so often lately, I considered having it printed on a T-shirt, just to save time.

Wait. I could have several shirts made, one for every occasion.

  • Please forgive me for being pushy.
  • Please forgive me for being late.
  • Please forgive me for being busy.
  • Please forgive me for being me.

That’s the starter set, of course. The list of things I’ve done wrong is so long, those please-forgive-me T-shirts could fill a Hollywood walk-in closet.

And I’m not talking about my before-I-knew-the-Lord years, with all those flashy, splashy sins. Oh, no. I’m talking about this week, with promises I’ve forgotten, deadlines I’ve missed, unkind words I wish I’d never said, and thoughts that don’t qualify as true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or even remotely praiseworthy.

If you get this, please raise your hand. I desperately need to know I’m not alone.

The psalmist nailed it: “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3). Honestly? None of us could stand. Not one.

Then comes the next verse. The good news.

...there is forgiveness... Psalm 130:4

“But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you” (Psalm 130:4). How like the Lord, to remind of us our sins, then offer a remedy for them in the same breath.

When we ask a friend to forgive us, what are we really saying?

  • I am truly sorry for what I did.
  • I wish I could undo my mistake, but I can’t.
  • I pray this won’t affect our relationship, which I deeply value.
  • I need your forgiveness in order to let go of my guilt.

Now imagine saying all those things to the Lord
, knowing He listens, understands, and forgives. These are the truths He wants to hear from us. Not excuses, not blame-shifting, but “I am sorry. Please forgive me.” It really is that simple—or that difficult, if we still think goodness comes from our efforts, and aren’t willing to own our willful disobedience.

In a court of law, the jury is often more lenient if the accused shows genuine remorse, sorrow, or regret. I believe that’s what God wants from us too.

David shows us the way: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Our brokenness, our humility pleases the heart of God. It means we’ve accepted the reality that we cannot manage on our own. As Kim recently shared online, “Without forgiveness where are we? Just sinners with no hope.” So right.

Yet with Jesus, we have eternal hope.

Tamara says, “His forgiveness always gives us a second (and third and fourth) chance to get it right.” Maybe that’s your testimony as well, beloved.

Carolyn admits, “Although I turned my back on Him for a period of years, He never stopped loving me and welcomed me back into the fold with open arms.” Jennifer, too, celebrates “His capacity for forgiveness and his willingness to lavish it on me!”

Believers have been shouting out the power of His forgiveness since day one. “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:38).

Having been proclaimed, now it needs to be claimed: His forgiveness is meant for you.

Heavenly Father, our sin is ever before us. Give us the strength to not only ask for your forgiveness, but also receive it. Wash us clean. Make us whole. Send us out with Your praise on our lips: “This is the God who forgives!”

He Is Worthy of Our Praise on Pinterest

What do you need forgiveness for this week? Might you put it into words, so He can lift that burden off your heart and place it in His hands?

Your sister, Liz

Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid I am honored to write for P31 Ministries I love being part of (in)courage!

33 Responses to The Big Ask

  1. Penny April 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm #


    I am with you, this past week I too could of filled at least part of a closet with those t-shirts. It is good to know that I am not the only one.

    Please forgive me for my impatience and for not letting my emotions get the better of me.

    • Penny April 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

      whoops I meant letting my emotions get the better of me.

    • Yvonne May 4, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      Yvonne for some reason ,your blogs and letters stopped coming to me. I really missed them. I have tried to reinstate but message keeps saying my Email is already in use. Yes!! That is me! I want to be on your mailing list. Please reinstate me. I love you and your messages .

  2. Sheila April 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Liz, as always, thanks for showing us the way to realness with Him! and others. If only we’d put this into practice in our own lives, there would be a lot less hurt in the community of God.

  3. Cheryl Kinman April 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Thank you so much for that word today. I really need to hear it every day. I Thank God that He is forgiving. EVERY DAY I have to ask for forgiveness for yelling at my kids. They fight continually. And my 16 year old daughter is so disrespectful. It seems I have to constantly breathe hard and count to ten to get over being so mad I want to just smack her or shake her. I pray the Lord can get me through this stage in her life without losing my mind. So every day I need the Lord. I cannot imagine how people who don’t know the Lord do it.

  4. Tina April 29, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    I feel like I ask for forgiveness for the same things over and over, ugh! Asking the Lord to forgive me for irritability when people don’t act like I want them to. God loves me in my imperfections. I need to give others grace as well.

  5. Paula Timpson April 29, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

    Forgive us Father for not always trusting you and for being afraid in this world sometimes
    We need you and when we pray we are fearless and free~!

  6. Lauriann April 29, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

    I am raising my hand…standing…on a chair! I know the Bible says to love others as you love yourself. What if I struggle with the latter part of that statement? I’m always the sorry one! I love others and love sharing your studies and the Word of God with them. I know God loves me…and I love Him. But, when it comes to me…

  7. Patricia Marie April 29, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    I thoroughly enjoy your wisdom and knowledge in the Lord, Liz. You are REAL and yes, human! With that said, your recent message about forgiveness blew me away. I hash and rehash things I’ve done knowing all along that God has forgiven me (head knowledge) but somehow that voice in my head keeps telling me that someday I will be held accountable before God for all the things I’ve said and done. The problem with that, Liz, is if I’ve been forgiven, why must I be reminded of all those things again when I stand before God. It seems to me this is yet another test. Either my works will be rewarded or they’ll burned up in the fire. Quite frankly, I feel no good thing can come from the flesh period and all I know is I’m exhausted from “thinking” or second-guessing Father God because then I realize I am, indeed, acting in my flesh. I know I need to “Be still and know that He is God!” The older I’ve gotten, the closer I’ve gotten to the Lord and I feel the enemy feels threatened by this. But the truth is every time I read God’s word, I feel empowered, armored in Christ. Guilt, fear, anxiety, etc., is not of God but it has plagued me from time to time. I don’t want to beat myself up anymore. If Jesus died for us once and for all, then I must accept that and press on. He said it is finished. I used to think that Jesus didn’t really have much to say in the New Testament. How foolish I was to think such a thing. I realize now that He said it all. And the more I read the New Testament, the more I understand how patient and understanding Jesus was and still is. My gosh, His own disciples walked and talked with Him and oftentimes still didn’t get it! However, what I long for now is that I make the right choices void of acting in the flesh but by the Holy Spirit. So just pray for me and I will pray for you and others as well. Once on my list, always on my list. God bless you, dear lady and those who love the Lord.

    • Barb April 30, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      The Bible says that are sins are cast into the sea of forgetfulness, never to be remembered again! Claim it, dear Sister!

  8. Donna April 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    Oh, Liz, I need those T shirts as well. all of them – and then some. These past couple of weeks have been difficult and I have not stayed focused on God! Your words have power – to remind us that we are not in the battle alone, that He never fails us and that we need to communicate with Him – for forgiveness, direction, cleansing. Thank you.

  9. Michele April 29, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Move over, Liz…..I have the same closet. We’re going to need a bigger house:)

  10. Sue April 29, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    I can raise my hand with you. I thank God that He remains faithful even though I do not. I have so much junk in my life and it’s a daily struggle to leave it in His care. I cannot go back and change the past but with His help I can change my future.

  11. Gwen April 29, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    I need forgiveness for taking my eyes off Jesus when I felt myself sinking! Eyes on Him…all is well!

  12. Susan G. April 30, 2015 at 1:12 am #

    Yep, my hand is raised too Liz. It’s mostly my mouth, which begins first by a bad attitude or thought. I thought by now (after knowing the Lord for over 40 years), I would have ‘arrived’ and would be a much sweeter person…and could control my ‘short’ words. But alas I’m back to asking forgiveness from the Lord more often than I want to admit.
    So glad He’s quick to forgive each and every time!
    Love your posts Liz. And your photos are the best…I want to jump into each one of them or a visit.

  13. Ann April 30, 2015 at 4:18 am #

    My favorite verse, my lifeline:
    1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  14. Amber Paulsen April 30, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    Yes, Lord! Wash us clean and make us white as snow. Lord, please forgive me for running ahead of You and trying to do things on my own. Forgive me for thinking I can do anything good without You. Forgive me when I steal the glory that only belongs to You. And forgive me for saying “change them, Lord”, when all along You were trying to change me. Lord, transform me, renew my mind, purify my heart. You are so precious to me God. I love You more than life.

  15. Anne April 30, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    Yep! Raising my hands and arms to wave big at the screen 🙂 Me too 🙂
    Jesus is ever gently faithful, guiding me thorough it all. Blessed be His holy name 🙂

  16. Beckie Turner April 30, 2015 at 9:28 am #


    From God’s lips to your ears, your words hit home for me today (and everyday). Thank you for listening and sharing what He has laid on your heart. We recently had a sermon series called His Grace is greater than. It’s true! It is TGIF for me everyday….Thank God I’m Forgiven.

  17. Susan Hoke April 30, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    The Lord has truly gifted you with the ability to share and hit the mark directly on the head! And it is true, I need t-shirts for all occasions! Thanks for reminding me that forgiveness is available all I have to do is ask and receive.

  18. sharon April 30, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    Thank you, Liz, for reminding me of His forgiveness. I very much need it today as I ask him to forgive the bitterness in my heart and clean out the mess that it is causing there.

  19. Julie Sunne April 30, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    Raising my hand, dear Liz, many times. Lord, thank you for your mercy!

  20. Kelley May 1, 2015 at 7:45 am #

    Thank you, Liz, for letting the Lord speak through you. this is so what I needed to hear today!

  21. Sharon Brosey May 1, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    Liz and everyone who reads this I am a fragile bipolar and always doing and sayings things wrong that I need to take to the Lord. He is worthy of Praise because His well of forgiveness never runs dry it is always full to over flowing. When I fall every day He picks me up and glues the pieces together. We will never be perfect until we get our new bodies in Heaven so I do not expect to perfect here on earth. I am a struggling Christian with many horrible past sins. Jesus died for them all and He is worth all Honor, Glory and Praise!

  22. Rhonda Catlin May 2, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Is there room for one more ? I’m reading this on May 2. God blessed me
    through your words from HIS WORD. Forgiveness, new every morning,
    always and forever. Amazing love unending grace. Thank you, Liz.

  23. Olga May 4, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    May 5,2015
    Dear Liz,

    As I write this reply, I am in the public library and I raise my hand as well sitting on a chair! Not as freely…though, I just had the female sitting next to me whisper angry words to the effect that “I do not have to move my mouse so close to her”, as she walks off and gets a wipe to clean off the bottom of her drink, that I may have accidently touched while reading the replies to your devotion. Yes, readers,I apologized! “I am sorry”, I say. Is there any room for me ladies, I wonder? Though,I do have the tendency to move the mouse away from the computer.

    I raise my hands in my car to praise and cry out to him! It is my altar of praise and confession. As for The tee shirts, I feel as if I daily have “The words” written across my forehead. Not needing the tee shirts so much. However,I am so grateful, for your devotions Liz. I do need those and enjoy reading them.I am hoping, and believing Psalm 51:17. It was so comforting. Thank you for the little reminder that I am not alone.

    • Priscilla King May 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

      Libraries should make sure computers (and printers) are spaced a good healthy distance apart. Most don’t. But thank you, Olga, for trying not to make the congestion worse than it obviously already is.

      If and when I open a decent computer center in my home town, it’ll have *carrels*, like a good university library!

  24. Suzy May 5, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    This week has been a week where it has been hard to forgive…
    my grandchildren’s step father walked out on the family – sneaking his belongings out when no one was home. Not giving them a chance to say good-bye. I’m sure he was hurting, but he was selfish. and I hurt for my grandchildren.
    I dealt with a 10 year old who attempted suicide. and it’s hard to forgive those who have hurt him so badly that he didn’t want to live anymore.

    so, as I sit in judgement, I know I am wrong. Psalm 130:4 said it all – so we can, with reverence serve you. I want to serve these children with the love of God… your words cut into my hurt for these children, my judging attitude and humbled me. Please pray for healing for these little ones. especially Jackson… that he will find the strength and courage to want to live.

  25. Misty M. May 5, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    I recently posted something on my Facebook page that I now regret, as it offended a dear friend of mine. I asked for forgiveness and I can’t stop thinking about it as I was browsing the internet for videos of you, as my church book club is currently reading (and loves!) The Girl’s Still Got It. I came across your website and the first blog I see is about what we mean when we as others to forgive us…and how God forgives us… WOW if that’s not meant to be I don’t know what is. Thank you.

  26. Kathy May 6, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    Oh my! I need those t -shirts too! And I could add a few to that list. I’m so thankful The Lord forgives when we ask for forgiveness. And I need to humble myself and ask for forgiveness but the rewards are so awesome. Bless you Ladies and Happy Mothers Day!

  27. Tracy L May 16, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    OH how my hand is up! So grateful to know you are not perfect because I never see that in your beautiful writing. 🙂 Also, I think those shirts just might sell off the shelves. 🙂

  28. Priscilla King May 18, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    Yes, Liz Curtis Higgs, I can relate. I’m not the best blogger I could be–not even online for two weeks, although (once again) I’ll really try to do better this week. I’d like to offer “Mad Mary” for resale as a Fair Trade Book at my Blogspot; to preview the review, comment, and/or pick a charity, please e-mail me.

    And yes, I think I would like to subscribe to this blog.

  29. Christina Hubbard May 20, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    My t-shirt should read: “Please forgive me for being the biggest control freak West of the Mississippi!” I can see it in my children’s faces and their behavior. Oh my, I need to love and encourage 10X more than barking commands and checking to make sure everyone is doing what they should. May God take the reins out of my hands and put me back to working for Him, not myself.