Awhile back, I wrote the following post:
Not much to say tonight…except this:
It’s extended to all of us, but we don’t always take it.
We have to punish ourselves first. Make sure we earn that forgiveness.
But then…we’re trapped.
You know what keeps Christians from being effective? Refusing forgiveness. Bowing our heads to the ground. Crawling, scraping, trying earn our way back to the Father. (As if we need to!)
And while we do that, we are utterly and completely focused on ourselves. No good to anyone else.
So yeah, you did that thing. Whatever it was.
Ask forgiveness, get over yourself, and start being useful again. Get back out there.
After writing this and reading back over it, I had a thought.
Christians are often perceived as graceless, and more concerned with finding fault than extending love.
Why is that?
It’s discordant with the Bible. Jesus summed up the two greatest commandments when he said that we were to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
But what if we don’t actually believe that God loves us?
Maybe most of us don’t, not in our heart of hearts. At the very least, we have significant trouble accepting it. I know that I do, because I daily prosecute myself for my thoughts and actions.
But there’s a bad, bad consequence to this kind of thinking:
If we are consumed with finding fault in ourselves and refusing to accept grace until we have sufficiently done whatever penance seems right to us (self loathing, mental flogging, etc.), we are going to project that mindset onto others.
If we prosecute ourselves, then yes, we will prosecute others.
However, those who accept grace are far more likely to extend it. Learning to love others begins with accepting love from God.
So accept it.
I hope you all have a fantastic week.