Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Forgive Yourself!

God commands and expects us to forgive (see Matthew 18 amongst many other scriptures).

While most of us struggle to forgive someone at some stage in our lives, we struggle to forgive ourselves even more!

Love should not just be reserved for God and our fellow man. We should love ourselves too..

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’*
Matthew 22:37-39

I think we struggle with forgiving ourselves because it feels like we take ourselves off the hook and we're scared that we will allow ourselves to "get away" with what we did. Or, it is easier to blame ourselves than the other person because of self-image issues.

Well, I have a tendency to beat myself up if I had a difference of opinion with someone or if someone criticises me.

Recently I had a disagreement with my girlfriend. We didn't have much time together and then she had to go to a business meeting and I wanted to honour our commitment to visit my folks. So we went our separate ways for the morning which was not what we had planned to do. I decided to ask God forgiveness and then just forgive myself, forgive her and express what I really wanted. I was then able to say how I value her and that I don't like having to spend most of the day apart either, but that I would like her to join me at church that evening so we could at least spend that time together. And boy did I feel good!! Free! And my girlfriend got over our disagreement much quicker than usual and was able to be loving towards me again. And she joined me at church in a good mood and not the surliness that usually followed one of our disagreements.

So give it a try. And feel the joyous freedom that follows.

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