The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103: 8-14
I had a bad weekend.
I sinned against God; and I sinned against myself. I confessed my sin to God after I did it the first time, and He forgave me. But I didn’t forgive myself, so I did it again.
Why didn’t I forgive myself? Shame?
Most people will say, “I’m so ashamed; I cannot forgive myself,” and then equate the refusal to forgive one’s self as a textbook symptom of shame.
Is that shame? Maybe for some. But not for me.
The Lord is very gently showing me that my refusal to forgive myself is due to…
I think I am better than I am.
I study my reflection often. Normally, I like what I see. But when I stumble, I throw a pebble in soul waters, disturbing perceived perfection, probing the ripples of my self-conscious to rehearse their regrets.
No, Gina. You know better.
I’ve disappointed myself. I placate myself in the prison of my past; while simultaneously maintaining my present reality in the prison of pride. I go nowhere. I keep sinning; I keep punishing myself.
Even though Jesus already bore the punishment for all my sin.
Why does God forgive us? Why doesn’t God give us what we deserve? Because as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.
And, because, “He remembers that we are dust.”
In His light, my reflection suddenly sharpens.
I AM DUST.
At any point today, did you forget that you are dust?
Do you think you’re more capable than you actually are? Maybe that’s why you struggle to forgive yourself.
God forgives you.
Who are you to withhold forgiveness from anyone…including yourself?