Now that I’m in my fourth decade, I have come to the realization that the person that I may need to forgive the most is MYSELF.
Sure, there’s things I maybe would have done differently, but where things now stand is where they stand. For example, I didn’t get married until my third decade. I didn’t have kids. I didn’t make it on Broadway …but there’s still hope.
There are people I wouldn’t have hurt. Cases where I shouldn’t have been selfish. Times where I shoulda, coulda, and woulda hugged harder. I would have made sure that those I loved knew where they stood every second of every day.
There are instances where I didn’t do or say the right thing.
But now I realize I can’t beat myself up. I have to give myself a little slack. I now see that we are all works in progress. We’ve all made choices, decisions, mistakes…and there is somebody that graciously loves us anyway, who inspires us to keep going, giving, and forgiving – even if that means the person we forgive the most is ourself.
We can always do better. I can always do better. But I have to be kind to myself for those times when I didn’t make the shot, and give myself the latitude to keep trying, to keep shooting for the stars, and to continue to lift up those around me – so we can all do our best – and be the best reflection of God’s image here on Earth.
It’s comforting to know that God forgives us, but it also doesn’t give us a free pass. We don’t just get let off the hook. We still have to strive to go forward, to live in love and to try not to make those same mistakes again.
For me – this means I can be honest about all my foibles and fumbles – and at the same time forgive myself, knowing God loves me, and that I can carry on with a little more peace, love and understanding – for me!
Friends and members of our Christ Church family have prepared these daily reflections as a means for you to consider how forgiveness informs your faith walk during this holy season. They are a richly diverse group from many different geographies around our nation and globe, formed by a wide variety of traditions.