This year I decided to pause each day and think of at least one thing that I am thankful for...so often we forget to be thankful for the simple things in life that God blesses us with! Do not let another day go by without allowing Him to speak to you as you pause and look around. What do you see? This is what I see each day for the next 365 days...
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I am forgiven. This is a concept that I have struggled to fully understand before in my journey. Like anything that is not tangible, it is a concept that one has to experience and discover through life. It's like the invisible idea of love - you can only relate to it and understand it according to the standards that have been set for you through your immediate relationships and the way that it was experienced in one's life. It is the same way with forgiveness, especially when it comes to our ability to forgive ourselves.
If you are anything like me, you are your own worst critic and sometimes when we fail we tend to either block it out and justify why we had to be a certain way, or we blame someone else instead of taking responsibility, or we take the blame and beat ourselves up for it. All these reactions, I believe, come from the way our minds and our hearts have been formed and programmed based on the information and experiences we have received in our past. What has shaped your understanding of reality and the worldview around you? What are the influential people, relationships and events that occurred that may have made you so unforgiving towards yourself and others? What constitutes your truth on these subjects?
I had as myself these questions and to take each layer of what I believed to be true in aim to pinpoint where each concept, worldview and philosophy came from. I began to examine those ideas and as I pealed each layer I realised that some of the experiences dictated how I viewed something or someone, setting the standard for perception in the way I looked at people and situations. As the layers were stripped away, I realised how much of it was false and I learned that they were not true realities of how God views me and others.
I used to believe that I was a product of my collective experiences and that each experience was a building block to make me who I am. Then I realised that this was a dangerous pattern of thinking because it was giving me the identity which summed up all the past experiences I had, some of which were so painful and filled with guilt and regret that it was not surprising that the way I viewed myself was inadequate. This worldview is responsible for low self esteem, insecurities, guilt and condemnation...this is a set up for settling for something other than the very best. You are not the mistakes you made. That is a lie, a worldly standard of the culture and the cliches our society tries to make you believe.
According to God's Ultimate Truth I have been set apart! In Christ I am a NEW CREATION, because He made everything new by taking my place, putting on my sin and giving me His perfect righteousness, forgiving me for all my sins. It is only by looking through this lens are we able to forgive ourselves and let go of our past mistakes and sin...it is only by discovering God's standard for love and forgiveness will we be able to see others past their sins and mistakes. It is only then will we be able to truly forgive others. This is a concept that becomes real and alive when we see ourselves and others through God's eyes and experience His grace and mercy! Forgive yourself today so you can also forgive others! I am FORGIVEN...
...and for that I am thankful...
"Forgiveness is our ability to see another through the eyes of God that are filled with His grace"
- Iliana Gerasimenko
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.