I’m pretty sure this word means different things to different people. Surely, we all know the definition of forgiveness, but what it actually translates to in our individual lives is seemingly different. I often hear nonbelievers pose the argument that some Christians make their own rules. Maybe this is true when it comes to forgiveness. Are we all willing to forgive the same things? And in the same way? When we truly delve into what salvation means and the way in which Christ forgives us, are we capable of extending the same forgiveness to others? These are all honest questions. It should be as simple as saying, if Christ is willing to forgive us, we should be willing to forgive others.
Then there is the issue of our humanity and our capacity to fashion ourselves by Christ’s teachings. We are so often blinded by our own circumstances, which definitely impact our ability to be Christ-like, to forgive others, and ultimately to forgive ourselves. This Lenten season, I’ve chosen to focus on forgiving myself. Recently, I have found myself overwhelmed in my career. As I have prepared this reflection, I’ve realized that maybe some of the pressure I am feeling at work I am bringing upon myself. This makes me wonder….some of the pressure and heaviness I’m feeling spiritually, I may be bringing upon myself as well. The scriptures tell us to take up our cross daily and to confess our sins to our Father. What then? Do I really let them go? Or do I continue to live in guilt and isolation for my shortcomings? Accepting Christ’s forgiveness is a freedom we often miss out on because we don’t forgive ourselves. This freedom is what allows us to forgive others and become more like Him.
Direct my path, O Lord, and help me to forgive myself so that I can forgive others.
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.