2005-11-23 - Total Freedom
Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
At times we can be our worst critics. We punish ourselves with our thoughts and words. We open the door and let guilt, shame, rationalization and depression into our lives. In usual circumstances, they would be considered unwelcome guests.
How do we forgive ourselves? How do we stop replaying the actions in our minds, even though one can't take back the past? We can celebrate what didn't happen instead of what did. In Romans 6:6-8, 22-23 Paul tells us how:
We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NRS)
God's power can't fully move until we forgive ourselves. God isn't pushing the rewind button to replay haunting decisions we may have made. It helps to see us as God does, not through our perception, because many times that contradicts God's all-knowing and ultimate view. It may seem impossible when we are bombarded with memories of regret and sadness. That is the time we have to claim (out loud, even) the truth as found in verse 14. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
God, I know it wasn't your choice for me; it wasn't the best choice for me. Please forgive me. I want to experience being a whole person, a forgiven person. Let this be more than words uttered in a prayer, but rather a lifestyle. A lifestyle where I can live in the present and not in the past, for I know you don't see the past in me anymore. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.