In his book The Contemporary Christian, John Stott told a story about Marghanita Laski, a popular novelist and outspoken secular humanist.

In a moment of candor, she said on a televised interview: “What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness. I have nobody to forgive me.”

Christians can say it differently. We can know what it means to be forgiven.

First, by the Father, through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ.

And we can know what it means to be forgiven by one another — because in Christ we know what forgiveness really means. As he has forgiven us, we are able to forgive others.

We can also learn how to forgive ourselves — sometimes the hardest task of all. God’s unconditional acceptance enables us to finally release our regrets and begin taking steps on the road to making things right.

Ms. Laski understood something fundamental about the human dilemma: We need to someone to forgive us.

In Christ, we have that Someone. Through Christ, we also are that someone.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

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