All sin carries a price tag. Its consequences may range from minor to major, but the bill always comes due. Somebody always pays.

There’s a story about a boy whose father pounded a nail in the barn door every time the boy did something wrong. Soon there were many nails. Then one day the boy accepted Christ as Savior and began living for Him. To impress upon his son the wonder of being forgiven, the father took him to the barn and pulled out every nail from the door. “That is what it means to have all your sins forgiven,” he said. “They are gone forever.”

The boy was deeply impressed. Then looking at the door, he asked, “But Father, how can I get rid of the holes?” “I’m sorry,” said the father, “but they will remain.”

The psalmist David paid dearly for committing adultery with Bathsheba and engineering her husband’s death to cover up his sin. Guilt sapped his strength (Ps. 32:3-4). Even though he confessed his sin, and God “removed the nail,” David carried with him a deep sorrow (2 Sam. 12:15-17). But this did not rob him of the blessedness of forgiveness.

Even though we may have to live with the consequences of sin, we who have trusted in Christ as the sacrifice for our sins can rejoice in His complete forgiveness.