I don't normally dedicate my posts, but I really wanted to this time. This post is dedicated to a very speacial friend of mine. I think you know who you are. After our conversations, I was motivated to finish this post. This is for you, my friend.
We have all heard it. Forgive and forget. Most often it is when someone has offended us. But what about when we have done something?
Everyone has offended someone in their lives. Sometimes the pain we cause seems to big to be taken away by a simple apology. Even if the other person forgives us, we still tend to beat ourselves up about it, telling ourselves that we deserve it for our mean behavior. While we would readily extend forgiveness to someone else, we often forget to forgive ourselves. Let me explain what I mean.
When we hurt someone and do all that we can to make it right, we are through. No matter how they act towards us, we have done our best to make amends. Here is the question: does it help if we get mad at ourselves over it and relive our mistakes constantly? Lets look at a first century church father and see what we find.
Saul was an accomplished young man. He was looked up to as a religious leader and feared as a zealot. His and all the other Pharisees had an easy life until this man named Jesus came on the scene and started teaching that He was the way to heaven and that the people were no longer under the mosaic laws. Saul and his companions didn't like this and, eventually, Saul made it his life mission to eradicate all of the followers of this man, Jesus. He oversaw the execution of the first martyr and killed many more.
But one day, on the road to Damascus, everything changed. He had an encounter with Jesus. This changed his life and he became Paul, the author of most of the New Testament. Paul, the early church father.
But what if Paul had never moved past Saul? What if he had never forgiven himself for his past? What if he had never begun to live the new life he was given? There would be no book of Romans, Timothy, Galatians, or Philippians. Most of the New Testament wouldn't exist.
My friend, you have to walk in the newness of life that you have been given. Your struggle matters not. It could be disrespectful behavior to your parents or an addiction to porn. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you can break free from that with Christ. He came to give you freedom. Your not defined by your failures. Please know that you are his masterpiece, created in his image.
So, let go of your past and present failures and struggles. God wants to offer you grace and forgiveness. You will still stumble, but those moments will not define you.
Walk in the life he has given you!