To forgive and reconcile: to be at peace with yourself, with each other, and with God. I am still learning what it means to forgive and be forgiven. I am learning what it means to forgive myself and those who have hurt me. What does it mean to forgive when people speak badly about you? How about to forgive yourself when you go to that website even though you swore you’d do better? What does it mean to ask for forgiveness when you hurt the people around you?
For those of you who don’t know, I believe in God and a Devil. I believe that both are at work in the world today. Perhaps you don’t believe that way, that’s fine, but stick with me for a minute.
In my life, my worst enemy is my own mind. I get into my head and let the bad thoughts about myself and others flow. It’s not fun, I feel like Emperor Palpatine (that’s how I picture Satan, if you want to picture Voldemort or Sauron go for it) is sitting right behind me saying, “Good, good let the hate flow through you.” Meanwhile there is this part of me that is trying to take a deep breath and discern between what is true and what is false. Trying to work through the lies of identity and self worth is one of the most rewarding but harrowing parts of life. You know when you do something wrong? There is this voice that tries to blow it up and make it far worse than it actually is. You feel shame and disgrace. Dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow. Do you feel like that? Part of me hopes you do so that I am not alone in that. Part of me hopes no one else has to deal with that because frankly it’s not that much fun.
Today I want to forgive myself for the things that I do: boast, putting others down, not listening to the people around me, reading erotica, gossip, etc. Today I want to ask forgiveness from you for the things that I may have done against you (that is also a long list I am sure).
Its far more than just saying it though. It isn’t a magic spell you say and all of the guilt and shame goes away. Its a lifestyle. You choose to be a forgiving and forgiven person each and every day. There is a verse in the Bible that speaks to this concept. It’s in Luke 7:47 where Jesus is speaking, “I tell you her sins-and they are many-have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Forgiveness is characterized by love, love for yourself, for one another, and for God. I hope that you forgive and love in the same way.