I doubt that any of us could have imagined when we welcomed this year that we would be facing the kinds of situations we are today. In an absolutely unprecedented time, many of us have lost our jobs, our health, our financial futures, and our security. We’ve been tested and tried, and every one of us has endured some sort of battle, whether external or internal. In slowing down, many of us have found ourselves face-to-face with past failures, mistakes and disappointments, and a few of us are struggling to let them go. If that’s you, I hope these thoughts will help. Perhaps nowhere is our level of self-forgiveness more evident than in our ability to forgive others. When we find ourselves constantly angry and disillusioned with humanity, it’s likely because we’re battling our own critical and self-condemning voices. If we feel like we’ve let people down or we haven’t lived up to our own standards, our inner turmoil becomes external, and we end up continually upset with the world around us. Unfortunately, these negative emotions are only heightened in the current climate of uncertainty. Thankfully, as followers of Jesus, we have access to the most complete forgiveness ever known, and when we choose to receive the full extent of God’s goodness, our hearts and souls are set free from cynicism so they can soar.
My friend, when you entrusted your life to the Lord, your sins were removed from you as far as the east is from the west! Since you are neither judged nor condemned, you can surrender your standards of perfection and lay them at the feet of your Savior, who welcomes you just as you are. When you let go of the wounds of self-rejection, the spirit of offense in you will flee, and you will have the liberty to love your neighbor with the same unconditional love you’ve received from God. Since you are perfectly accepted in Him, you can surrender your grip on your past, present, and future and give yourself fully to the One who loves you completely.