To me, forgiving myself has always been my number one stumbling block. I have no problem forgiving other people for failing me, or God, or other people. Call it a self-esteemissue, or whatever, but I didn’t used to set the
bar all that high for my fellow human beings, so when they failed, I almost just expected it. Satan hates us all, and he’s been doing his job a lot longer than any of us have been alive. It would be embarrassing for him if he wasn’t a master at it by now! And I know how much Jesus loves all of us, so it was with heart-felt sincerity that I would lend a hand to lift my brothers and sisters up, dust them off, and encourage them to keep on trucking down their proverbial road.
But that same courtesy just didn’t apply to myself, as I felt that I knew what I was supposed to be doing, feeling, saying…but when I didn’t fulfill whatever it was I thought God wanted of me, I would plunge into a self-hatred, despairing emotional valley, and lick my wounds for days down there. And it was in one of these dark little valleys that Jesus stepped in and shone His light on what was really happening. And you know, He only had to say one word to me for it all to become crystal clear — Pride.
You see, somehow I had elevated myself over other people by thinking that while they were doomed to fail, and Jesus’s sacrifice was complete and perfect for them, somehow God expected more from me…why? Because I was better? Because I was special? And then I would fail and fail and fail. I’d hide away in my little pity party, refusing to be comforted, refusing to answer my God’s voice. And by hiding down in my valley, feeling sorry for myself, I was telling Jesus, “Hey, thanks for dying on the cross and all, but Your sacrifice just wasn’t good enough to cover my sins.” What a big, fat lie from satan, and he snuck it past my ever vigilant brain quite easily.
I deal with my shortcomings differently now, by focusing on how Jesus taught us to pray. I am always paying attention to those tiny little voices that try to convince me that I have something to be proud of…pride is too easily introduced to me, so I pay very close attention to anything that would let satan slip that one past my guards. And when I pray, I embrace the humility of being an imperfect child of God, and then forgive myself, not giving it more importance than any other sin should be given. Jesus was pretty clear in His Word, even our good works are like dirty rags to God. Nothing to be all that proud of down here… 🙂
So, today, I’m starting out my day by asking God’s forgiveness for my ever-present failings, and then I’m forgiving myself right after, and I’m going to start my day with a fresh slate — both in God’s eyes, and my own.
Hope everyone has the best day of their lives today!
Today I wrote this What’s In A Name? at 20 Lines A Day about how I insulted a biker… 🙂