I'm in prison for embezzling money from my company, and I know I've hurt a lot of people. But what good would it do to ask them to forgive me? I know they won't do it, and to be honest, I can't blame them. — S.T.
When we have hurt someone, we need to admit it to them and ask for their forgiveness. Whether they actually forgive us is up to them, but we must take the first step. When a dishonest tax collector decided to follow Jesus, he immediately set out to make things right: "If I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount" (Luke 19:8).
Why should you do this? First, for your own sake. I'm sure you are sorry for what you did—but have you honestly faced the seriousness of it? Asking others to forgive you will help you face that fact. But asking others for forgiveness is also important for their sake. Someone who has been hurt can harbor anger and bitterness in their heart the rest of their life—but if they do, it will be like a poison to their soul. Honestly forgiving someone who has hurt us gets rid of that poison.
The most important thing you need to do, however, is seek God's forgiveness. Others may refuse to forgive you—but God won't, if you sincerely confess your sins and turn in faith to Christ. The Bible says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).
Confess your sins to God and ask Christ to come into your heart today. Then no matter what the future holds for you, you will never be alone, for Christ will be with you. By faith commit your life to Him today.