I am having a tough week, I hope yours has been better! I have realized, that my week or day is "good" or "bad" based on how I react to what happens and what I encounter. Yesterday (Monday) I woke up with sin in my heart and decided I was not going to do much about it. I don't want to assume we all know what sin is so I will give my definition and interpretation of what it is, sin is anything that keeps us separated from God. I woke up with a heart that wanted to engage in something that would keep me away from God. As the day grew and moved on, so did my desire to engage in sin. I had thoughts that challenged my desires but I did not let them linger long enough in my mind, for that would lead me away from that heart posture (which is not bad). My heart was so set and content that I did not want to hear the reasoning I already knew would sway me (that is how I knew it was bad and that my flesh was ruling over my spirit). As you may have guessed, later in the day I engaged in the sin my heart was set on, despite the consequences I knew would be waiting for me after.
I am now left trying to figure out how to extend what God gives so freely to me, to us, to myself. I am trying to figure out how to forgive myself for the sin I willingly committed. I knew from the beginning I would regret the temporary satisfaction that would come from falling into the sin, yet it sounded and looked pleasing to the eye just as the fruit did to Eve (Genesis 3:6), so I took a bite. I am now seeing how biting that fruit has created a death in me. A death of spiritual strength and a death of closeness with God. Although those deaths do not mean my life is no longer, it does mean that there are ways I am going to have to fight to keep what is already mine, forgiveness.
God forgives us before we ask for it. His forgiveness is not contingent upon our falling on our knees and begging Him for it. It is there before we fall on our knees, it is there before we think to fall on our knees. Yet it is something that I find myself fighting for today. It is hard for me to forgive myself because I am harder on myself than I am to others and God's forgiveness does not come after a lashing and that doesn't make sense. What I have come to truly understand (as I have been writing) is that it is hard for me to forgive myself because I am fighting for something that already belongs to me/that has been given freely. It would be easier for me to forgive myself if I had to do something to gain that forgiveness.
I have to reconcile with that. It would be easier for me to repent and for God's response to be for me to go feed the hungry for twelve hours or to pray non stop for two hours, or for Him to tell me to do something other than to go to Him with it and to receive His love and forgiveness freely. It doesn't make sense for Him to respond to me that way, but that's why He is God! He does things out of the ordinary and out of our level of understanding and comprehension. So my task is to forgive myself before the day's end. I am already feeling more free since I have been writing, but I know I have to actually say and receive the forgiveness that is already mine. I pray that we would all (those who struggle with forgiveness of self) see that it is much better to get receive what is already given to us than it is to want something (freedom) and sit in self-hate and have a "bad" week because of how we responded to whatever has happened.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father, I thank You for Your kindness and grace. I thank You for the forgiveness that You give to me freely. That the sins I commit are not new to You nor do they surprise you or catch You off guard. I am thankful for the love You give me that catches me even when I feel undeserving of it. I pray that I would be able to accept the forgiveness You give while also extending it to myself. May I rest in the assurance that You do not turn Your face from me when I sin but instead open Your arms to me. May forgiveness of self be my song and strength.
I pray and ask all of these things in Jesus' name,