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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Forgive God and Forgive Yourself

Forgive God and Forgive Yourself

Forgive and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37b, NIV).

Have you ever felt like God has failed you? 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 away from Him, or you internalize that anger and feel guilty for your anger. Either way you end up at the same location. Unforgiveness has taken root. That unforgiveness robs you of your joy and peace.

Do you have trouble forgiving God for what you believe is His failure, and have trouble forgiving yourself for being angry at Him? “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). “I can't judge God” you tell yourself, “so I can't be angry at Him for failing me. It is wrong for me to believe He has failed me!” So here you are. You don't want to sin and be angry at Him so you become angry at your own inability to forgive Him. In condemning Him, you feel condemned. A horrible cycle of self-destruction begins.

The cycle must be broken. 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. The Holy Spirit invites you to forgive so that you might be free from its bondage. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). God does not want you in bondage to your hurt or your disillusionment over what you perceive as 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.

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 daily decide to forgive. Never close the door that the Holy Spirit has opened. Continue to be honest with God when hurt tries to build. You have asked forgiveness for judging God and judging yourself. Some days will be easier than others. Don't condemn yourself on harder days. Lay all the hurt and unforgiveness on His altar again and again. You have begun your journey of healing.

Now climb your mountain of healing daily. As you struggle up its slope, He carries more and more of your load, and the climb grows easier. One day you will discover you have arrived at the top. And you realize that your burden is completely gone. You are free, and all the self-destructive anger is gone forever. You know God has never failed, and forgiveness will not only flow for you. It will flow for others, too.

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