Weekly Devotion Header 2023

Better than Good

April 28, 2020

“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43, NIV 1984).

We were all tired from the over-work, telehealth, glasses-foggy-from-breathing-through-masks, legitimate-fear and frantic-colleague life. I passed by my partner’s office, concerned for his emotional well-being. I knew he and his wife were having to alternate staying home with their kids because daycare was cancelled. He never showed his fatigue, but I was concerned.

“You good?” I asked.

“No,” he said and added with a grin, “But I’m forgiven.”

“That’s even better,” I said.

I love feeling good. There are days in my life when my troubles lift, my spouse is happy, my kids are okay, my retirement account is rising, my patient load has lightened and I just feel good. Those are great days. When I am in those moments, I wish they could last forever.

Could forgiveness be better than that? Only if God’s presence is better than feeling good.

To appreciate forgiveness, we have to understand our need for it. For many of us, most of the time, forgiveness is an abstract theological principle. We compare our lives to those around us, and we just don’t get it. During the Easter season this year, my wife and I viewed The Passion of the Christ and watched Jesus pay the cost of our sin. Since that viewing, the true nature of my heart has shown itself to me over and over. In my own heart I have seen pride, envy, self-fulfillment, greed for time, greed for security, a lack of trust—a life about me rather than others.

I have seen who I am. Like my friend above, I am not good. I need forgiveness.

I need forgiveness, and I received it at the cross. Without the cross, my God is distant and I am left to a rollercoaster ride of feelings until all is over. Forgiveness brings me home to the Father, who walks with me through all my rollercoaster days, good or bad. Forgiveness lifts the guilt that hovers over me and replaces it with joy that runs deeper and longer than my good-feeling times.

One great advantage of God’s forgiveness is that it lasts forever. God doesn’t have to forgive us “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22, NASB) and then forgive us once more. The cross has covered all I have done and all I will do. I am forgiven.

And, as one who is forgiven, I am now free to live differently, more like I was created to live, and free to forgive those who have caused me pain; and then they feel better too.

My friend had it right. I love feeling good, but forgiven is even better.

Dear Father,
Thank You for forgiving and cleansing me on the cross.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.


  1. Avatar Don Schuessler on April 28, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for your encouraging message. I’m a pediatrician in a small community in way-Upstate New York … a place some of termed “Appalachia North.” It’s a privilege for my wife and I to serve here, but I sometimes get tired. Knowing there are others standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us brings renewed energy to tired souls.
    I awoke at 2 AM and haven’t been able to fall back to sleep. Prayed, praised … and came downstairs and found your devotion. Our God is very, very good!
    By the way … your lead in for this devotion is from the previous day’s devotion (which was also very encouraging!)
    Keep slugging. There’s no better battle to fight.
    All the best in our Jesus.

  2. Avatar deb brandewie on May 1, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    thank you for your devotional. I appreciated it so much. I was jogging before work this morning and started to shed a few tears. I am retiring soon and was just feeling blue. mostly because I do not like change and this is change. But God spoke to me during my jog and told me: “Debbie: I never change. I remain the same.” So: there you have it. I am just not placing my trust in the right places. I need to trust God who never ,ever changes. And thank God for who He is. He is a solid rock, a solid foundation. lover of our souls. The world changes, It smells of sin, is difficult, and it is disease ridden. But He does not chase. Also :He is always there for us. God told me later today to stop feeling sorry for myself. So I went to work and talked with another younger doctor who was having a hard day. She also admitted to having a good cry yesterday because of a difficult day. “share one another burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. ” Isn’t He wonderful?

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