Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Forgive (yourself)

Why can we not forgive ourselves?

No one ever says, “I cannot forgive myself.” Nothing is what it seems on the surface is it? You notice things by watching a person or people act or live or talk or breathe. I saw something within a couple of friends the other day that really made me hurt. It didn’t hurt me as in my feelings, but I could feel their pain and I didn’t like it, I didn’t like to see that in them, I wish I could take it away. They applied for something and were rejected by an organization for what they applied for based on something that had happened in their past. They had already been formally punished by society and the court system. They said that themselves. So this is what hit me the most, when I heard them say, “We’ve already been punished by society, we live the consequences of our past every day, and now we have to prove ourselves to a company.” They said this with such sincerity and had tears in their eyes.
They are children of God and have been saved by Jesus, so they know they are forgiven. They know to forgive others. But when I heard them talk about this issue and their past I couldn’t help thinking that they have not forgiven themselves. Could this be the case with so many people around the globe? God offers forgiveness and we continue to drag ourselves back through it all. People carry baggage with them for years; they have an intellectual knowledge that they have been forgiven, but never quite come to forgiving themselves. So I wonder if a person has not forgiven themselves if they can truly understand God’s forgiveness completely. I realized that Jesus forgives me of everything, He is a merciful God, full of grace and love. But it is when we get caught up on others view of us, what we look like compare to a society as a whole, that makes us not want to forgive ourselves. A person may have been a crack addict prostitute before coming to Christ. I would imagine if she or he did not see themselves as equal or important or forgiven in the eyes of the society they were indulged in then they may not have allowed the forgiveness of Christ to become real, liberating, and transformative then they may never be allowed to forgive themselves. The hardest par of forgiving is forgiving ourselves isn’t it? I am not saying my friends in particular have this problem but it made wonder how many people haven’t forgiven themselves, haven’t allowed themselves to be impacted by the blood of Christ that atones for all wrongs. May accept the forgiveness that is in Christ and forgive others and forgive yourself.

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