I love Tuesdays. It is a day off for my husband, first of all, and secondly it is my women's bible study day. I am blessed that I get to fellowship with other women and hear a truth lesson, that for some reason resonates with me deeper than those of Sundays.
The last couple of weeks have been about forgiveness and mercy. I forgiveness, as anyone who has been a christian for any length of time knows, is a key word in the christian church. Christ died so that we may have forgiveness. We must forgive one another. So on and so forth.
One thing that we discussed today is an aspect of forgiveness that we, especially women I think, don't think about. Forgiving ourselves. That is a big pill to swallow, forgiving ourselves. When we first started talking about this today I thought, oh well, I forgive myself. I don't hold grudges with myself, I need to focus on my reaction to others. Then as we dug deeper, I realized that no, I do not forgive myself enough. Sometimes I hold grudges against myself about personality things that are simply the way that God created me to be.
I never before had realized that my overcritical spirit of myself, of my big, loud personality, of my thicker thighs, of my boldness, of my curly hair was criticizing God and a sin. I never realized before that my beating myself up for not having a perfectly mopped floor or fingerprints on the walls or making only a mediocre meal is a sin. I had been holding myself to a standard that was impossible to uphold and judging everyone else by the same standard in order to make myself feel better for my inability to measure up. I was making myself God. I was taking over His position. I was in sin.
Something else that was brought up is that God is God and I am not. Ok, so it sounds really simple. It sounds elementary, right?? But think about it. How many times do we sit around thinking how we can control our lives, criticizing ourselves and just plain old making ourselves feel inferior. I know I do. I even do it about how good of a Christian I am. I get mad that I cursed again, or that I thought a crazy thought about someone, or even how much more I need to be doing for God's kingdom. If I was the perfection of Christianity that I think I should be, then I would already be in Heaven. I walk around trying to make everything "appear" perfect when in reality it is about to fall apart. I try and do Christianity on my own and forget that God is the center of it all. I step out all alone time and time again and forget the one who created me and keeps me righteous. Then I am surprised that I trip despite my own feet, and hold myself accountable.
So then it comes to forgiveness. It is two fold. We number one need to ask God's forgiveness and recognize that we are not as powerful as we would like to believe. But the second part is much much harder. We let go. We forgive ourselves for not being perfected yet, and give God the control. We trust Him to do what needs to be done. It is not in our power to be perfect, so why do we get mad when we miss the mark? We have to forgive ourselves, or we are walking in our own power again. We need to recognize that it is God who does all things, deserves all praise and apart from Him we can do nothing. Not just we can do only a couple things, but nothing!! Not one thing can be done in our own power. It is only God who can walk this walk with us. It is only God who can be our map and guide. If we hold ourselves to a higher standard than where God has us at the moment, we miss the blessing and lesson we are supposed to learn right now. And if God is teaching us something, you can guarantee it is an important lesson!