Sometimes we have trouble believing that God really forgives our mistakes. We know all the verses that promise His forgiveness, and we believe they’re true…for other people. Just not us. We’re too messed up. Our mistakes too ugly, too shameful.
I’ve got a got a couple of blunt truths to share. First, you’re not that special (and neither am I). Sorry to be so harsh, but obviously that’s what we think if we believe a rule applies to everyone except us…I mean, that’s pretty much the definition of special, isn’t it? Out of all the people in the whole world and all the terrible things that have been done, isn’t it a bit silly to think we are special enough to be the only one exempt from grace? Maybe it’s not a good kind of special, but still, it’s driven by a similar thing: pride.
Yep, that’s blunt truth #2. While this kind of thinking appears to be based in our low self-esteem, it’s actually pride. Because we’re setting up a different standard for ourselves than others. And coincidentally, it’s a different standard than God Himself gave all of us in His Word (unless you guys secretly have something different worked out on the side…?).
It’s like you and your roommate taking the same college course and both getting a B on an exam. You’re going on and on about how unacceptable that is for you, because you should have made an A. You call yourself stupid, even. How would your roommate who made the same grade as you feel about that? You assure her that she’s not a loser for making a B. But how can you possibly explain that without being insulting and it coming across as if that’s good enough for her because it’s the best she’s capable of and therefore all that can be expected…but you…you can and should be better.
Last truth…We feel unworthy of God’s forgiveness because we are. But that should send us running to God’s arms instead of away. And really, at the heart of it, isn’t believing we’re beyond God’s forgiveness less about the perception of our own unworthiness than it is our perception of God’s limitations? It’s not just, “I’m too bad to be forgiven,” it’s also, “God’s not big or loving enough to forgive me.”
By believing we are beyond God’s absolute grace, which He promises to give freely to all His children, we make Him pretty small. Or worse…a liar.
Our God is not a liar. So let’s choose to trust that He can and does forgive us, even when our feelings are telling us something different.