Yesterday, I had the privilege and freedom of taking my kids to church. I also was able to catch another great lesson on the subject of forgiveness. Yesterday was the second of a three part series titled, “Clean Slate”, with today’s focus on forgiving yourself. Jeff Love brought this message and not only did well explaining why we should forgive ourselves, but I also came out of today’s teaching thinking how truly loving and merciful our God really is.
Our Adversary likes to remind us of bad choices we’ve made in the past. I love the old quote he used on one of the previous sessions. When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.
When we go to God to ask for forgiveness for our sins, he is faithful to forgive. It’s now behind him, and he doesn’t want us to hold it against ourselves.
One part I really enjoyed was how The greatest commandment, along with the one following, was brought to our attention:
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Right there Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Yes, I’ve done that very thing where I’ve personally imagined a period after neighbor and left out the yourself part.
Imagine you’re a parent of a child who made a bad choice. The kid decided to take the car for a spin and ended up crashing through the garage door that night. As a father, if my child was sincerely sorry for it, of course I’d forgive that child. I also wouldn’t want that child to live in regret and unforgiveness for this bad choice. That’s the last thing I would want for my child. The truth is, our heavenly father loves us so more than I can ever love my child as a father, I mean, it is God who defines love.
Living in regret and unforgiveness is not his plan for us.
When we mess up we need to ask for forgiveness and also forgive ourselves, then move forward with love all around.