If we are honest with ourselves, all of us have some spiritual “house cleaning” that we need to do. “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And I absolutely love Paul’s dissertation on the subject in Romans 3:24-26,
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Therefore, none of us have the God-given right to point fingers at anyone to pronounce them to be a “great sinner” when we are guilty of sin and stand in need of forgiveness. Furthermore, if we were to conduct a thorough spiritual inventory, we would also discover that within us is a tendency to be boastful and proud, and if we are not careful, we find ourselves standing in the place of the Pharisee and crying out, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:11,12). Instead, our spiritual attitude should reflect that of the publican, who “standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Thus, the Apostle Paul exhorts, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith” (Romans 3:27).
Each of us stand in the need of forgiveness. Remember the words of the Master. Said He, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3). “Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also” (Romans 3:29).
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22). “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15).
– Corrie Ten Boom: How to Forgive
– James E. Faust: The Healing Power of Forgiveness