Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Forgiveness and Grace

The concept of forgiveness has been cropping up a lot lately. In several conversations with friends and even in church this past Sunday, forgiveness seems to be the over all theme. I wanted to talk about an interesting part of forgiveness that I have struggled with my whole life.

First of all, I won't pretend to take you through a step by step process of forgiveness. This isn't a recipe. It's too personal to describe, and the struggle depends on the hurt that requires forgiveness. What I will say is that I have been through major issues in life and by God's grace have reached a point where I am able to extend forgiveness to the person(s) who has wronged me. However, the one person on the planet that I am slowest to extend forgiveness to will always be me.

Am I alone in this?

Somehow, I don't think I am.

I find myself able to extend a tenacious amount of love and grace to others, cheering them on, believing in them, defending them, loving unconditionally when it gets difficult. And yet when it comes to myself, my own dreams, my own choices, my own mistakes, I get meaner and more judgemental than Simon Cowell with a tone deaf singer. I carry anger against myself. And it's not a Hulk-like rage, but it's a latent simmering that I feel within my soul. It's always with me. For some reason, my heart chooses to arrogantly believe that grace was meant for others and not me.

Wait, arrogantly? Yes.

Is it not arrogant to believe that my mistakes are so great that they fall beyond the love of God? Think about it. If I genuinely believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus paid it all for everyone (and I do!) then why do I continue to punish myself when my Savior has taken all of my burden? All of it. Every single regret, bad choice, silly mistake, opportunity not taken, and fear that has paralyzed me--including every single ounce of excess weight I've allowed to become a part of my life, forgiveness has been extended to me for all of it. The same is true of your past, your mistakes, your indiscretions, your sin, there is grace and forgiveness for you too. If we choose to live in the fullness of the love and grace of God, letting go of the past that binds our feet together like prisoners, we will be free to live an abundant life!

When I think of the life of radiant joy I want to live, and the emotional energy it takes to carry my disappointment and anger alone, it dims my light. I am no longer radiant, incandescent, and shining for the world to see. I grow dim, and flicker, and provide no light. And quite frankly, I find that this living this way is no longer acceptable. It never really was, but I have finally reached a point when I am tired enough of it to let it go.

WOD (Workout of the Day)

Yoga day! Going to do this later tonight as it was a crazy busy morning. I haven't decided which yoga video to do, but I will do one tonight.


Breakfast: 2 Chicken and apple sausage links. Cup of coffee with Splenda and H&H.

Lunch: Chimichurri grilled chicken, broccoli, mineral water with a twist of lime.

Snack: 2 Protein shakes. I was coming unglued and my blood glucose had gotten a little uncomfortably low.

Dinner: Slowcooker Beef Roast. After posting the recipe yesterday, I got a hankering... Steamed broccoli and 1/2 a yam.

Forgiveness. It's hard to let go of the past, particularly when you've gotten good at dragging it around with you. I'm determined to quit reliving it, and let it go. It's time. You don't have to comment about it if you don't want to, but are there areas of your life that you have allowed to remain untouched by grace? Are you extending forgiveness to everyone, but you?

1 comment:

  1. Um.....can I help you write your book someday? Because you know there will be one.
    ANYwho, this definitely resonated with me! I am WAY harder on myself than I am on anyone else. When I battled anxiety, part of it was accepting that Jesus DID pay it all--and I needed to stop punishing myself! In fact, John 10:10 became a 'life verse' because I clung to the concept that "Jesus came that we might have life, and life in abundance." He didn't die for me to 'feel bad!' I do still battle it, though--especially the idea of 'deserving' grace vs. punishment. Still working on it! :)