About Me

Friday, September 23, 2016

FORGIVE MYSELF?

“You just have to forgive yourself,” my friend told me.  I sinned against God and a close friend.
My heart broke.  I know God forgives, but forgiving myself?  Somehow that did not sit right in my spirit.  However, I would repeat the phrase to others when they felt the lack of forgiveness.



You just have to forgive yourself.
 What does this mean?  Is it biblical?
 Through prayer and study, the Lord revealed to me why my spirit was unsettled about the statement.


As a believer, I know sinning against God is inevitable.   Even the Apostle Paul confessed his struggle.
"For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing" Romans 7:19
What did the apostle Paul do when he encountered his own sin?
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"  Romans 7:24-25
He acknowledged his sin.
He acknowledged the need to be rescued from it.
He thanked God for Jesus' deliverance.

He did not forgive himself.
As I continued to study I heard these questions echo in my head.
Did you hang on the cross?
Was the sin of the world put on you?
Did you endure excruciating pain?
Are you God?
Tears filled my eyes as I exclaimed
“NO! NO! NO! NO!”
You did, Lord, You were the one.”
I remembered the following verses.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;”1 Peter 2:24
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people."  1 Timothy 2:5-6

Why do people say, “You must forgive yourself?”   In my case it was ignorance. I repeated what I learned. 
I claimed 1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But, I still felt tormented by the guilty feelings of sin. I sincerely repented, so why the angst?
A former pastor helped me to understand, "When we sin against God, it leaves a spiritual wound. The wound needs to heal. The feeling is the healing process. God is not condemning us."

I no longer say, "You must forgive yourself". I acknowledge my sin before God and claim His promises of forgiveness and acceptance.
I thank and praise God for the finished work of Christ on the
Cross.   I run into his arms and  receive the healing.  
 I would love to know what you think about this topic.
Have you ever told someone or yourself, "Forgive yourself?"
Join the conversation.


Friday, September 2, 2016

WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING

Unmet expectations can cause angst, as we discussed last week

My son is autistic. When life does not go as he expects, the closest object can become a projectile and his body shakes as he sobs.
His therapist stated,
"Michael is already at the playground sliding down the slide in his mind, his expectation becomes a reality to him before the activity occurs."
My heart broke for my son. I understood. 
I visualized situations playing out in my head, only to have my hope dashed against the rocks of disappointment.
With help from his therapist and Scripture, Michael and I began to realize the difference between reality and expectation.

In the Bible, the word expectation is interchangeable with the word hope.
Hope is not wishing,  it is a quiet confidence in knowing.
I did a Bible study on the word expect. Holy Ghost goose bumps appeared when I found the word in the least likely place...
 Rahab the prostitute expected great things after she met the spies in Jericho  Joshua 2
The spies made a promise to her, they would rescue her only if the red chord remained in the window upon their return.
Her situation did not immediately change when they left, men probably still wanted her services. She waited at least three weeks but kept her focus on the chord.
The word for chord here in Joshua is Tiqvah
My son has named one of his stuffed animals Tiqvah.
Blue letter Bible has another meaning for it besides chord

 hope, an expectation

Nowhere else in the bible is Tiqvah used for chord or rope.

God is so good to use the word expectation and chord together.  Rahab's expectations were not dashed against a rock or torn down when the walls around her fell at her rescue. Her expectation became reality.

Rahab stated  in Joshua 9 &11 -I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the landmelt away before you. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.
Her story continues

Matthew 1:5-6   Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. 
Jesus was in the lineage of King David.

Rahab looked to God for her hope not the actions of people or situations.
I want to learn from her.
How about you?
What do you put your hope in?
Join the conversation.