Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Forgiving Ourselves

The Bible says:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalm 103)
How far the East is from the West

So God forgives us our sins and places then as far as the east is from the west...and who would know better how far that is than God, the one who created all and the only one who truly how far the east is from the west!

So why is it so hard to forgive ourselves? Granted God is all powerful, might Lord, but still, should we be able to forgive ourselves even if we can't necessarily forget...

I struggle daily with forgiveness. It's part of me...the guilt, the pain, the anger. Granted, it's not part of what God made in me, and I am sure it is not His will for me to have it there, but nonetheless...I struggle.

I feel anger over things that we done to me, though I have forgiven most. I feel pain over what I have experienced in my life. But, most of all I feel guilt. Day in and day out...I can't seem to forgive myself. Where else would guilt come from if not from my own inability to forgive myself.

Why is it so hard to forgive ourselves? Being both the wronged and the wrongdoer places us in the position to be able to reject the forgiveness and we often do because we are experiencing guilt and believe that we deserve more punishment.

But this guilt comes from Satan. Guilt leaves us looking back, and while we're busy focusing on the past, it's difficult to move forward with Christ, the one who died for us. We condemn ourselves and we focus on this because our transgression was so great. This is how we are trapped and rendered no threat to Satan because we are no longer focused on Christ.

If we fail to forgive ourselves, what we are saying is that we have a more stringent standard of justice than God's and by our standard, we are not worthy of forgiveness. In other words, we know better than God.

What does that say about Christ's sacrifice? What message do we send to God? So, while I don't know all the answers, apparently forgiving myself is a good step to take. Now, to figure out exactly how to do that...

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