Who hasn’t known the sting failure? Knowing that we didn’t to live up to a commitment we had made to ourselves or someone close to us? Often we fall short of what God has for us.
I will fail, everyone does.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23
None of us are immune to failure or sin. None of us are immune to letting Jesus down not even the people who were closest to Him on this earth. Peter walked and talked and laughed and ate with Jesus for three years. He was in the inner circle of the disciples. You might even say that he was one of Jesus’ best friends. Yet he let Jesus down. Three times he denied even knowing Jesus … all within view of Jesus Himself.
So, should we be surprised by the failure of sin that enters our lives? No. Is God surprised when we fail in our sin and let Him down? No! Does He stop loving us? No!
God knows our tendency to fail all too well. He created us. Despite what we may think of ourselves or what we may think of the believers who surround us, we are all just human. We are not perfect. We will fail. We will sin.
To fail doesn’t mean we are failures. It means we are human.
So, perhaps the first important step is to stop being beating ourselves up. There is nothing to be gained in that. We can stop crucifying ourselves about our past. That is why Jesus was crucified. There is no forgiveness or restoration in hating and punishing ourselves for the sin we commit that is absolutely no surprise to Jesus.
Forgive yourself. It’s why Jesus died and rose again. Sin is put to death forgiveness now lives!
There’s a story of man trying to cross the street. As he steps off the curb a car comes screaming around the corner and heads straight for him. The man walks faster, trying to hurry across the street, but the car changes lanes and is still coming at him.
So the guy turns around to go back, but the car changes lanes again and is still coming at him. By now, the car is so close and the man so scared that he just freezes and stops in the middle of the road. The car gets real close, then swerves at the last possible moment and screeches to a halt right next him.
The driver rolls down the window. The driver is a raccoon. The raccoon says to the man, “See, it’s not as easy as it looks, is it?”
Does this sound familiar to you when trying to forgive yourself for something?
The biggest obstacle to self-forgiveness may be the tendency to wallow in our own guilt. We replay the images of our failure in our mind over and over again. We own our failure as if it’s our favorite movie. It’s time to push the stop button and move on.
For forgiveness and restoration we need to go directly to the giver of life and the forgiveness offered by Jesus Christ.
No matter what I do, Jesus still loves me.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? … No.” Romans 8:35, 37
Notice the word anything. Does that leave anything out?
Can drug or alcohol abuse? No. Stealing? No. How about adultery? David committed adultery but he also wrote the book of Psalms, and was called “a man after God’s own heart’” (Acts 13:22) What about Murder? No! Moses was a murderer, so was David, so was Paul who wrote much of the New Testament. There is forgiveness in Christ.
To forgive myself, I focus less on what I did in the past and focus more what Christ did on the cross.
It’s time to push the stop button. Self forgiveness is a tool with which we face what we’ve done in the past, acknowledge our mistakes, give them to Jesus and move on.
Jesus forgiveness is all inclusive, past present and future. That forgiveness includes forgiving yourself. You are forgiven in Christ, forgive yourself. Do it today.
For more about the series, “Livin Forgiven” go to www.Ridgefellowship.com