Preaching Forgiveness to Myself

Last week I delivered part one of a two-part series on forgiveness.  Rather than starting with the forgiveness we receive from Christ, I began with the forgiveness that we are to give to one another.

This was one of those weeks that I found myself in two places at once.  I was, in the pulpit…but I was also in the pew.  Occasionally, what you find is that your message, even though you wrote it and practiced it before, on Sunday morning, strikes a cord…within your own soul.

As I preached about forgiveness and finding the strength and courage to forgive those in our lives that we ought to forgive, I was struck with the awesome reality that I need to offer forgiveness to myself.  I didn’t expect that one…but then again…we usually don’t.

The reality is that sometimes we fail to realize that we hold grudges against ourselves.  Or, maybe we are too hard on ourselves.  Or, maybe we just simply never forgave ourselves for the sins and transgressions of our past.

On Sunday, while the congregation had an opportunity to pray about forgiveness, I offered forgiveness to the one in my life who had been waiting to hear the three simple words of freedom:  I forgive you.

Maybe today you need to sit down, take a breath, and tell yourself that it is okay.  Go ahead…take a seat…and say to yourself:  “Self…I forgive you.”

And find the freedom that Christ offers you through a life of forgiveness.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;  but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15

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