Forgiveness Part 2   Leave a comment

As I begin this post, I start thinking about this very simple yet paradoxically complicated word.

There are so many implications. This word affects us in all relationships areas of our lives:  with God, with friends, with significant others and within ourselves. Each of these is intertwined delicately with each of the others. All of us have needed to forgive and be forgiven at some point in our lives. I believe that being able to forgive and willing to seek forgiveness are attributes that must be developed and honed in order for any individual to truly live a fulfilling and successful life. This is part two.

Forgiveness in our Relationship Within

Once we have resolved our need for forgiveness in our Relationship with God, then and only then can we begin to consider forgiveness in the other two areas. However, neither of them is as straight forward as the first and they are very much entangled together. Let’s look first at forgiveness within. It is often said and is no truer than in the life of those in recovery: “We are our own worst enemy.”  What exactly does that mean? To me, it means that we beat ourselves up over the smallest mistakes. We look for every weakness and imperfection and focus on them, and taking every effort to point them out to those with whom we have relationships. Even when others point out our strengths, or other positive attributes, we discount there compliments and deny them completely. In other incidents, when we offend or otherwise hurt or disappoint someone else, including God, and they forgive us, we will not let it go and move on; we are unable or unwilling to forgive ourselves.

My friends, we have all made mistakes and had to suffer the consequences of those decisions and behaviors. For some of you those consequences have been VERY painful and costly, on all levels. They have affected not only us, but those around us, especially those which we care for the very most; thus, confirming within our psyche that we are more “trouble than we are worth” and thereby not deserving of forgiveness and validating our poor self-esteem and self-worth. Let me refer briefly to a verse from Part 1:

 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23

We have ALL have sinned.  EVERYONE of us has made mistakes, it is called being human. As noted, some are bigger and have more detrimental to our relationships, recovery, wellbeing, our LIFE! However, there is no mistake that is not forgivable.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

My ability to accept and experience within is dependent on my surrender and willingness and ability to accept forgiveness in my relationship with God, as previously discussed. Unfortunately, for many of us, even that is very difficult.

Here is the hardest message as it pertains to forgiveness and it is true for ALL aspects (with God, with others and within)…

 Forgiveness is NOT based on being worthy or deserving of it.

Forgiveness is an act of grace and mercy.

Ultimately it is an act of LOVE!

 We must first accept and acknowledge the forgiveness that is given to us by God, not because we deserve it but because we don’t. We accept it as his gift of grace and mercy. What is the purpose of His forgiveness? The purpose is to restore our relationship with him.

If the Almighty God, the Ruler of the Universe and Giver of Life, is willing to lavish us with his love, grace and mercy, forgiving us of EVERYTHING, then who do we think that we are not being willing to forgive ourselves. We need to grant ourselves the same mercy and grace that He has so richly given.

Even then, learning to walk in forgiveness within is going to take practice and it will not come to us overnight. The pain and suffering that resulted from our poor decisions and behaviors will remain and heal slowly, but it will heal.

There will still be times and situations in which we struggle to forgive within. It is in those times that we must “Let go and let God.” We confess our struggle and inability to forgive ourselves and we ask Him to help us and to heal us from the hurt and pain that are deep within which are holding us back. As we draw closer and closer to His mercy and grace, it becomes easier to grant and apply mercy and grace to ourselves.


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