Thursday, September 4, 2008

Accepting Responsibility

Before a person can ask for forgiveness, he/she must acknowledge and accept responsibility for his/her action--a character trait that was exemplified by Judah, son of Jacob.

Genesis 38, the story of Judah and Tamar: Tamar was married, successively, to Judah's two oldest sons, both of whom died. Afraid that his youngest son would meet the same fate, Judah sent Tamar home and told her that his third son was not old enough to fulfill the commitment to marry his brother's widow. Tamar waited and waited. Realizing that Judah would never wed her to his third son, Tamar decided to take radical action when she heard that Judah had gone to shear his sheep. Dressing like a harlot, she seduced Judah, taking his staff, his cord and his signet as collateral for payment. Judah did not recognize her. Tamar conceived, and when Judah found out that she was pregnant, he accused her of harlotry and demanded that she be burned. When she showed his collateral (proving that Judah was the father), Judah stood up and publicly admitted his guilt, saying: "'She is more righteous than I; for I did not give her to Shelah, my son." Judah then married Tamar, and she gave birth to twin boys.

By admitting his error, Judah indicated that he was a true leader among his brothers. This remarkable character trait continued on through his descendants who eventually established the great monarchy of Israel (starting with King David).

Question: Is confessing a sin the same as asking forgiveness, or does a specific request need to be made? Post your response!

Want to ask forgiveness? Try Project Forgiveness

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