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Finding Freedom to Forgive Myself

I lost it.  I absolutely lost it.  Once again I was running late for work.  My oldest son was in the backseat beat-bopping to some good Christian music, you know, because I am a pastor and all so that’s what we listen to.  He is just having a great time like any other extremely high energy nine-year-old. The thing is though is that he was being loud. The traffic was congested and the ticks on my old-fashioned watch were ringing so loud in my ears reminding me of how late I was.  

I don’t know if it is because he was so happy or that I was so miserable or a combination of the two, but like a missle coming out of nowhere, I attacked.  “Shut up!!!” If I could write those words louder and meaner, I would. He froze. His little eyes looked at me as if I had just crushed his little spirit. I guess because I had.  

It’s been 14 years since that day and it still haunts me.  The guilt. The shame. The remorse. I apologized to him over and over again, but man, did I feel like a failure.  #worstdadever

What do you do when you have committed the most atrocious sin?  My son forgave me. Little ones are so full of grace. But forgiving myself has been a chore like so many other things I have done.  And though in my mind, I know it is not Biblical, it feels more than what God can forgive us for.


But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
Romans 5:15-16


We sin because we are sinful.  I may choose to sin, but I never chose to be sinful.  Sinfulness entered into the world through Adam but even he had no idea of the extent of consequences for one bite of some juicy fruit.  When Adam sinned, he was innocent. He was sinless to that point, but He was not righteous. Innocence means a person could go either way.  After he sinned, he not no longer innocent, but instead he was bent toward sin. But righteousness is a power against sin. The disobedience of one man destroyed the innocence of man, but the obedience of the one man, Jesus Christ, did not simply return man to his previous state of innocence, but the grace of God gives power to us to resist sin.  Innocence leaves us very vulnerable to sin, but righteousness gives us power to resist sin. The grace that comes by Christ is so much greater than the sin that comes from Adam.

If the disobedience of Christ was so powerful that all who believe will have power over sin, how much more can the sin of one man such as me or you be forgiven and forgotten.  If every sin in all of history has been wiped out, how can the sin of one person stand against the grace of God. Not only did Christ died for your forgiveness, but to give you power to never do it again.  

Can He forgive you?  He already has.

Now, the question is will you let God be God?  If He is the Judge, the All-Knowing, most wise Judge, how can we question His judgment?  If He says we are forgiven, for us to hold on to guilt is to deny Him the place that only He can hold.  He is God Almighty and you are not. Let him be God. Accept your place in the court. You are not wearing the robe.  He is. The Judgment has come down from the bench. Your sins are forgiven. You are innocent by the grace of God.

Now that I’ve shared my horrific moment, do you have one where you need to forgive yourself?

I would love to hear from you and pray with you. Leave a comment below.

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