Thursday, November 10, 2011

Forgiveness Part II

"Forgiveness" has been a big thing with me lately, if you couldn't tell just by the title.

And the weird thing is, until lately I've never thought about forgiveness much. Sure, we've studied it in youth group and on mission trips, but I never felt like it applied to me. I was actually annoyed that I never had anyone big to forgive. No one had ever done anything to me. I didn't HAVE any grudges to feel release from releasing. It was sort of annoying. I used to really get into emotional jazz like that.

And now, out of the blue, the concept of forgiveness is popping up everywhere. Last Sunday my pastor's sermon was actually ON Forgiveness. He mentioned that a lot of people have trouble accepting GOD'S forgiveness for what we've done. Like, "Well, if I were God, I sure wouldn't forgive me." And we try to earn God's grace by doing good things.

So, 1) It doesn't work that way.
2) It doesn't work that way.

God will always forgive us. There is nothing we can do that would make him turn his back on us. We screw up a lot, and the natural punishment for that is Death: eternal separation from God. But because Jesus just loves us SO MUCH, he died instead, so that we don't have to. So if we accept God's forgiveness, when he looks at us he doesn't see all the sh't we've done; he sees the perfection of JESUS CHRIST.

Which is mind-blowing.

But I'll buy it. I'll accept that. God will forgive me because Jesus took the blame on my behalf. Okay. I believe it. I'm forgiven.



I hadn't thought about it that much until Sunday, but I knew the answer right away:


Mostly I don't have trouble forgiving myself. Mostly I forgive myself too easily. {"Oh, I just ruined your project with my orange juice? That sucks. Sorry." *moves on*} And I think that's bad too. But there's one thing in particular that I do not forgive myself for:

My masochistic porn...tendencies.

{I feel like I can finally stop saying "addiction..." And that feels really good. But it's still a monumental boulder of suck in the path of my mental happiness.}

I can't forgive that, and every time I get close to forgiveness, I feel awful. The voice inside my head goes "WHAT? YOU FORGIVE YOURSELF? Well damn, it's probably only a matter of time before you decide it's okay completely."

I feel like I can't forgive myself, because I haven't changed yet. If I didn't keep an ironclad grip on myself all the freaking time, I'd go back to it. There is no question about it. So why should I forgive myself for something that I'll just do again? It's like I haven't really repented. I'm not REALLY sorry or I would change.

And that's a whole 'nother can of worms right there. How am I supposed to change something that I can't even understand? How am I supposed to change the way my mind has worked for literally 17 years? {I remember being this way when I was 2 years old. I'm not kidding.}


But that's not what this is about. This is about forgiveness and my lack of it towards myself.

As I was sitting in the second row during all this, feeling real great and everything, my pastor says this:

"When we don't forgive ourselves, we're presuming to be better judges than God himself."

Oh. Oh my. I'd never thought of it that way before. If we refuse to forgive ourselves, we're not only throwing God's grace in his face, but we're also saying we know better than God. "Well, God, YOU might forgive me for this, but I know better than to do that."

So, I'm slowly coming to grips with the fact that not only do I need to forgive others, I need to forgive myself. I have absolutely NO IDEA how to go about doing that, but at least I'm now sure that it needs to happen.

What about you? You don't have to comment or anything if you don't want to, but think about it. Is there something you're holding against yourself?


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