Me: My own worst enemy

We’re all subject to seasons in life.  The highs and lows, all points in between.  It seems like the high seasons never last long-enough and meanwhile it seems as though the low seasons will never end.  The pain, the struggles, the fear just keep heaping on and we cry out ‘how much more’?  Those are also the seasons when we add to our own misery, and heap the guilt and the shame on ourselves.  The result is catastrophic.  It prevents us from breaking a cycle we were never expected to be in.  It also perverts a God who loves us dearly, and proved that by sending His flesh and blood in our form to wash us clean.  But before we get sucked further into a downward spiral let’s remember that our condition, the human condition, isn’t so unique to us that it can’t resonate with others or even be a similar shared experience with others, many others.

Psalm 51: 1-4 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Psalm 51:17  My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

How many times have I been in that position where I will focus on the bad parts of me, the things I’ve done and make myself a sacrificial lamb, laying myself down not humbly, not in supplication but in shame even tinged with contempt of myself.  In short, we treat ourselves worse than God treats us, and worse than we’re expected to treat our enemies.

Prov 25: 21-22

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,

and the Lord will reward you.

I can’t imagine treating my enemy worse than myself, and yet that’s what I do at times.  I hold myself so accountable that it prevents me from any act of forgiveness of myself even though my Father has forgiven me.

Matt 6: 14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

When my daughters do something, I get angry.  But before they ask for forgiveness, I’ve already forgiven them.  That’s what love is, what a loving parent is capable of, and that’s what our Father does for us whether we choose to accept it is another matter.  Regardless of what my daughters do, and regardless of the anger they see in me they know at their core they are loved to no end.  They may not be able to hear or access that they’re forgiven in the moment, but at some cellular level they know they’re safe and also forgiven.  You and I are those children.  Whether we can acknowledge the unrelenting love of our Father who has forgiven us for everything we’ve done or not changes nothing.

I am forgiven.  I am loved.  I am capable of accepting God’s grace.  A grace so profound it reaches to every corner of my brokenness, and is capable of healing all parts of me that used to prevent me from a relationship.  A grace that reaches past the sacrifice of His flesh and blood.  A grace that breaks down barriers and finds me in the darkest places where I think I’m unreachable.  Now it’s up to me to accept it, for all of us to accept that regardless of the season we’re in.

 

Grace, peace and love

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