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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Forgive God and Forgive Yourself

Have you ever felt like God has let you down? Do you feel disillusionment in your heart? Perhaps you believe He made you a promise that He didn't keep. Perhaps your whole world has been turned upside down and your heart is broken. He is your Father and He is suppose to care for you. Why did He let something happen that you believed with all your heart He would prevent? The hurt escalates. One of two things happen. You either become outwardly angry with God and run from Him, or you internalize that anger and feel guilty for being angry at God. Either way you end up at the same location. Unforgiveness has taken root. And that will rob you of your joy.

We hear so much about the person that becomes outwardly anger and runs from God. I'd like us to consider the Christian who feels like God has failed them, and is angry at themselves for being angry at God. Not only do they have trouble forgiving God for what they believe is His failure, they have trouble forgiving themselves for being angry at God.

            “Do not judge,” Jesus instructs, “and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). We always consider this verse being about judgment toward others. How about considering this verse as being about judging God and judging yourself? Christians who know it is wrong to be angry at God turn their anger on themselves for being angry at Him! They don't want to sin and be angry at God, so they become angry at themselves. And a horrible cycle of self-destruction begins. You have to break the cycle. Admit your anger. Admit you need to forgive not only Him, but you need to forgive yourself.

           You have a choice what to do with the disillusionment, the hurt, and the anger. If you allow that hurt to define who you are, anger will immobilize you. You are then in bondage to your inability to forgive God and forgive yourself. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Holy Spirit invites you to acknowledge your the hurt that caused the anger so you might forgive. God does not want you in bondage to your hurt or your disillusionment over what you believe is a failed promise. That hurt and anger can become your own failure. You have the freedom and the power to forgive God and to forgive yourself.

                Are you tired of the hurt that has robbed you of your joy? Be real with God. Tell Him you have been angry at Him because you believe He has failed you. Tell God you have been mad at yourself for being angry at Him. Ask for His forgiveness, and break the cycle. Lay all of it on His altar, and begin the journey of healing. Never close the door that the Holy Spirit has opened. Continue to be honest with God when hurt starts to build. You have asked forgiveness for judging God and judging yourself. Remember that a small slide back down the hill is not total failure. Don't condemn yourself for the small failures. Climb your mountain knowing He not only carries you to the top, but total healing awaits you there. It is your real promise.

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