Sin. A controversial word. Many would call them a "wrong", a mistake, a lapse in judgement. But sin is sin. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Every day. Right? I know I do.
In fact I did sin this week for sure. (Wow, that was hard to write!) It was a sin that the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks afterwards and said, "Say what?" I was convicted of my sin - and I felt so repentant! After asking my loving God for forgiveness, He forgave me. But - did I forgive myself? Condemnation then moved into my very being and had me in it's tenacious grips.
I wept alone.
I prayed alone.
I read His love letter to me - the Bible - alone.
Condemnation was still winning the battle.
Then, I reached out to my loving husband and my loving daughter.
They encouraged me.
I was no longer alone.
They were praying for me.
Condemnation was worried.
But, their wise words of encouragement seemingly didn't help.
I felt so sad at what I had done.
I spent time with my Lord and Savior the next morning - but I remained saddened and shamed.
But remember - baby steps.
Condemnation was very still and losing hope of defeating me.
My spiritual mom/sister "just happened" to call.
She ministered to me.
As we talked, I remembered scriptures to encourage myself.
I wrote them in my slam book/journal.
One was "There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
I was able to sing this verse to myself throughout the day, but was still so sad.
But yet another person was praying for me.
I began sensing a light, the Holy Spirit, finally able to reach me via my praise.
Condemnation began wringing his hands.
I reached out to my son.
He ministered to me through my tears.
I wept, still defeated.
Another person praying for me.
Condemnation stomped his foot in frustration!
I began praying and pondering
my daughter's words.
my husband's words.
My LORD's words:
"There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
my spiritual mom/sister's words,
my son's words.
I told the LORD I was too broken to spend time with Him, but I could still praise Him, so I brought up my Itunes praise and worship list and hit shuffle.
Here's the song that came up.
If you're struggling with forgiving yourself,
if you're a prodigal,
if you think you can never be forgiven,
if you think you can never forgive yourself,
take a listen and enjoy condemnation's defeat.
By the way,
If you believe someone can be blessed by this song - take a step of courage and send it to them!
The hardest action for me to take is to forgive myself. I bet you struggle with that as well. I find I can forgive and show others grace because, after all, we're all human, right? We all make mistakes.
But, whoa! Me? Of course not! Eeesh. How prideful. Of course I'm included in the "we" of "We all make mistakes". However, when I let myself or others down, I tend to tie myself to the whipping post and have at it. Do you?
When I listened to this song, I felt like God was telling me that I needed to realize
* how unloveable and unreachable I felt for doing what I did. This is not how my loving Father sees me - or you!
* I became my own prisoner, Are you?
* I needed to free myself from condemnation, Do you?
* I needed to forgive myself and accept my own forgiveness, Can you do this?
* I needed to set myself free - because God has already forgiven me. Because we are free in Him. Are you free?
God loves us beyond measure - He honestly does! Do you believe this?
He wants the best for me - and you!
Now, I'm learning
to be gentle with myself,
to forgive myself.
Would you like to join me on this journey of learning to be gentle with ourselves, of learning to forgive ourselves, of living free by the power of our Savior? Please share in the comments! Or email me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
* Even when we're broken - Praise! It's during those times, we have even more reason to praise!
* BE gentle with myself, forgive myself, show myself grace.
* Forgiveness. Grace. Such big topics. But, as I've learned in my own struggle, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. So, why should I condemn myself? He forgives me, why shouldn't I forgive myself?
I am definitely writing to myself as to you. I will probably come back myself and read this post again and again. But for now, I rejoice in freedom, forgiveness and victory! Please join me in this walk!