Forgiveness of Self...
"So we are made holy because Christ obeyed God and offered Himself once and for all." ~ Hebrews 10:10 (CEV)
Self-forgiveness, it seems, is ever on the lips of nearly every therapist, guru, self-help coach, etc., etc., etc...
One of my personal favorite discussions is by American journalist, Norman Cousins...
"Nothing clutters the soul more than remorse resentment, recrimination. Negative feelings occupy a fearsome amount of space in the mind, blocking our perceptions, our prospects, our pleasures. Forgiveness is a gift we need to give not only to others but to ourselves, freeing us from self-punishment and enabling us to see a wider horizon in life than is possible under circumstances of guilt or grudge.
"There are times when we may feel wronged, betrayed, deceived, humiliated. It would be unhealthy not to react against the outrage. But limits need to be set to the emotional punishment such resentments and anger, however justified, can inflict on us. Certainly we ought not grant others the right to give us ulcers. Forgetfulness can be an asset in such cases. Forgetfulness is generally regarded as a defect. But forgetfulness allied to forgiveness is a way of erasing the smudges in the mind that come from prolonged brooding over taunts or insults or injustices, real or imagined. Among the prime assets of the human mind is the ability to cut loose from vengeful or burdensome memories. The easiest way to deepen a grievance is to cling to it..."
I mean, really, we're human. As humans we're going to drop the ball, make mistakes, step on toes, hurt feelings, and sometimes seriously blow it. For those of us sensitive to such foibles, that can become quite the burden to carry.
Thus, the seemingly perpetual conversation of forgiveness of self.
It's easier said than done. Again, probably a likely reason for its frequency of topic.
But, if I'm being honest here, I trip over the idea of forgiveness of self... a lot.
In Matthew, Yeshua talks about forgiving those who have transgressed against us not seven times, but seventy-seven or seventy times seven, depending on your translation.
Shouldn't that apply to us, for ourselves, as well?
If we have to love ourselves to love others... If we're to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, then forgive our neighbor as well...
Wouldn't we have to forgive ourselves to make it possible to forgive those who have sinned against us?
However, where I come into trouble is this...
I'm not sure it's possible to forgive myself of my sins.
I don't think I have that kind of power.
The Good News is, I know someone who does. And, I choose Him.
I choose Him, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, everything He is.
I choose Him.
In Him we have redemption and forgiveness, in accordance with the grace of the Father.
So, what do we do with that? How do we find freedom in forgiveness? How do we get to forgiveness of self so that we can in turn offer it to our brothers and sisters from a pure heart and true intentions?
While I don't necessarily believe we have the power to forgive ourselves, I do believe we have the power to stand in the strength, grace, and sacrifice of the Son and receive His forgiveness for ourselves.
I also happen to believe that is how we get to authentic forgiveness of others.
Human nature is to hold tight to wrongs, grudges, offenses... even across generations.
But, if we can find a way to stand in His mercy and forgiveness, I believe it is truly possible to find forgiveness within our own skin. And just as importantly, find forgiveness for our fellow man.
I believe that gives us a firm place to stand.
We may have to choose it again and again... seven times seventy even, which probably means ceaselessly.
The Good News is, with the Son of God, that is possible.
In our human pettiness, I have to wonder if we can get there without a Divine helping hand as so many people seem to think.
Thank God, He is right there willing and waiting to give us the hand we need.
Just, thank You.
For everything You do, for all You are, we thank You.
Thank You for writing us into Your story.
And, as You help us to be the children You created us to be, thank You for helping us to stand in the forgiveness of the Savior, to receive it for ourselves, and to offer that same forgiveness to our fellow beautiful children of God, to all Creation, that Peace... Your Peace... should abound on the Earth.
We love You, we need You, we choose You.
We thank You, for everything.
All this we pray in the name of the Son,
"Bear with one another and forgive any complaint you may have against someone else. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." ~ Colossians 3:13 (BSB)
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." ~ Ephesians 4:32 (KJB)
"Jesus said: Don't judge others, and God won't judge you. Don't be hard on others, and God won't be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)
"For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you." ~ Psalm 86:5 (ESV)
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
A breathtaking cover of Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone.) Enjoy!