Not too long ago, I did something dreadful.
My daughter saw this horrible display of dreadfulness, and I had a very hard time being able to shake the guilt from my heart.
Basically I had a hormone melt down in front of her and it wasn't pretty. [insert red face]
All was well in her little world after the "episode", or it seemed to be, but I was in the stuck zone.
I was stuck in my guilt. Paralyzed with self-disgust.
Ever been there?
It is a hard place to be.
The enemy wants to shame you and tell you that you are worthless. He wants to throw stones at you and laugh in your tear filled face.
On the other hand, Jesus beckons us to come to Him. He reminds us that there is nothing too big to stain us from His blood-washed love over us.
I wanted to believe Jesus. I wanted to surrender to His Peace and His forgiveness.
However, the enemy was relentless. I kept picturing my daughter remembering that dreadful day and sitting on a psychologist's couch when she is 30 recounting her mother's hormone haywire day[s].
Ugh. The guilt.
Then, I remembered a book that I am reading with a few friends...The title is "Grace not perfection."
I needed some grace in a major way.
God had already forgiven me. My daughter had forgiven me. I hope the neighbors didn't hear and if they did I hope the forgive me too. [eek]
The struggle was with forgiving myself.
Not sure about you, but I find it much easier to forgive someone else than to forgive myself.
Why is it so hard?
Why do we extend grace so freely to others and withhold it from ourselves?
I kept going back to King David.
He messed up so many times. So. many. times.
Yet, David always moved on.
He believed God loved him and he believed God forgave him.
So, perhaps, our struggle is with believing what God tells us.
When He tells us our sins are forgiven, He means it.
Let me repeat that one more time...When He tells us our sins are forgiven, He means it.
Yes, there will be consequences, but forgiveness is ours for the taking.
The enemy would love to bury us in guilt. From head to toe.
We cannot be of any use when we live in guilt.
We suffocate under the weight of guilt.
How can we extend a hand to help others if it is buried 10 feet under in guilt?
So, as I wallowed in guilt, I decided to fall to my knees. Repent. And thank God for forgiving me.
I got up, wiped the guilt dust off of my pants, and moved on.
It felt like a 100 lb weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.
No wonder Jesus tells us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I realize I have been using this scripture a lot. But, I just cannot help myself. It nourishes my weary soul.
Perhaps this is why I can relate so very much to this woman in scripture that anointed Jesus' feet with perfume. I can taste her desperation. I can smell her eager desire to just touch the feet of Jesus. I get it. I know how it feels to just want to throw yourself down headlong at the feet of Jesus.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:36-50
Friend, read that last line.
The greater need for our forgiveness, the greater opportunity for us to show love.
If we don't recognize our need for His redeeming Love, we will never be able to pour out what He so graciously pours into us through His redemption.
Are you struggling with forgiving yourself?
You will never be healed hanging onto that guilt. It will suffocate you. It will hold you down and keep you from your God-Promised Destiny.
Will you go to the feet of Jesus? Will you throw yourself down and wash His feet with your tears?
Feel the sweet release of His Love, His Peace, His Grace wash right back over you.
Then, get up, and move on.
You've got big things to do for His Kingdom.