I was listening to a pastor speak about forgiveness and how he had a difficult time forgiving himself for things in his past or bad choices he makes in his life. One day as he was talking with God, God asked him what he was doing. The conversation went something like this.....
GOD: "What are you doing, Chris?"
CHRIS: "What do you mean, God?"
GOD: What are you doing Chris?
CHRIS: "I know, I know.....I am not forgiving myself for what I have done wrong".
GOD: "You need to forgive not only others, but yourself."
CHRIS: "I know, but it is hard when I remember what I have done....I feel the need to punish myself."
GOD: "So, my Son suffering and dying on the cross wasn't enough for you?"
Forgiving others is sometimes easy and sometimes not, depending on the situation. Jesus helps us forgive others through Holy Spirit living in us. Amen. When I look back in my own life, I can tell you exactly where I have struggled with forgiving myself. It is during those times I was not a good mom. Yeah. I have given it to Jesus and received forgiveness and I know that. But it does not take much to bring shame or sadness to the surface for those times I did not meet my own expectations or was not who I needed to be for my kids. Just being honest here.......
So, is God asking me the same question? "What are you doing, Renee? Was my Son, (your Savior) suffering and dying on the cross not enough for you?"
We are quick to blame in our society. In the secular or Christian world. I think of the recent drama that unfolded on our TV over and over again. The little boy that got over the barrier and into the domain of that huge gorilla. The zoo officials felt they had to shoot the animal to protect the boy. Very quickly people went crazy with criticism for the parents....the mom.....the zoo.......Everyone had an opinion. It is still a topic of news and opinions vary. I could not help but think about this mom and wonder how she will forgive herself for what happened whether it was from her neglect or the fact she has an inquisitive boy who impulsively acted in a way that brought him harm. Either way, as a mom I can imagine what she is going through.
As Chris Gore continued his teaching that day, he mentioned that unforgiveness can get in the way of our relationship with God. It can get in the way of receiving from God....whether it is His love or His healing. Unforgiveness can get in the way of all God has for us, because of Jesus. Yeah...
Are their areas in your life where you hold unforgiveness against others or yourself? Is God asking you the same question? "What are you doing, child? So, my Son suffering and dying on the cross was not enough for you?"