Sunday, August 10, 2008

Forgiveness. I Get It! I Feel Squeaky Clean!

Temple of Forgiveness, Burning Man 2007

Forgiveness was the topic of our sermons this Sunday and last. Forgiving others. Asking God's Forgiveness for our own misdeeds.

I heard this, oh, I don't know, maybe 1,863 times but I finally got it this time around! I'm sure you have had that moment of self realization at one time or another. After going in one ear and out the other, someone finally says the right combination of words and all of a sudden a concept that we would blink blankley at makes complete sense. It gets caught in one of those little cogs in our brains and the light bulb goes on. Click. I get it.

I've led a blessed life; I don't have to try to summon forgiveness for someone who killed, raped, attacked, stole or otherwise maimed me or a family member.

Except for that sneaky abusive fraud I worked for, who lied like a snake so he could get rid of me, but I won't go into that....

I've forgiven the slimy little %#*#$@ but that doesn't mean I condone or agree with what he did. It means I've left it to God. As a result, I'm sleeping better. I've stopped dreaming about him. I don't wake up thinking about him. I'm even beginning to scrape some of my self-worth back together in a little pile. One of these days I might collect enough of it to knit a t-shirt or something.

The main points about forgiving others for hurtful deeds large and small are:

It's not up to us.

We are not the center of the Universe.

It's up to God.

It doesn't mean we condone.

It doesn't mean we forget.

It means we let go of the resentment, the anger, the hate.

It means we give it to God.

It means God is the One who judges and forgives.

God is.

It's not up to us.

As for our own misdeeds, If we ask God in the name of Jesus to forgive us, we are forgiven. Completely. New score sheet, please. Fresh start. Clean slate. Done. That's the one I have the most trouble with. How can I possibly be forgiven for every misdeed I have ever committed just by asking. Especially those I do over and over again? Stupid little stuff. Why?

Because of the Grace of God.

His Grace falls down on us like rain.

Sometimes in the process of asking forgiveness we forget to forgive ourselves.

We doubt the Grace of God.

We don't understand the meaning of grace.

Grace can be defined as favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it, and in spite of what that person deserves

I get it. That's a good description of me.

I asked for forgiveness today, and for the first time ever, I listened, understood and accepted that, yes!, despite my worth or merit or what I deserve, I am forgiven.

Squeaky clean.

Thank you God!

Try it.

Thanks, Pastor Chad. I really did get it this time.


LoolyLouise said...

Oh... My... Gosh, have you been inside my head, or WHAT? This is a topic that is SOOOO hard to accept - that God can forgive, and forgive, and forgive, and forgive the same idiotic, knucklehead things I keep insisting on doing, and doing, and doing. AND that asking for His forgiveness one time is all it takes and it's done! Yet I keep asking for forgiveness for the same sins! God is up there, chin in His hand, thinking, "Move on, kiddo! Been there, done that." I so don't deserve it, but that is the TRUTH! Oh, happy day!!! As far as forgiving others, "Forgiving is going to a person either in your fantasies or in reality and saying, "I don't understand. I'll never understand and it wasn't OK and it isn't OK, but I forgive you." Forgiving doesn't make a person a doormat. Forgiving isn't the same as tolerance. Forgivers don't have to be fools. Forgiving is healing yourself of something that happened to you that you cannot tolerate, but you forgive it as the only way to heal the wound it left with you." 'nuf said.

MuseSwings said...

I love your broader explanation of forgiveness. You got that one kiddo! Thanks for stopping by!

Your squeaky clean sissy!

Janeen said...

A beautiful post today! And loolylouise's comment was right on target too! Thank you for sharing and have a great day!

MuseSwings said...

Janeen, thank you for stopping by!

Esther said...

Thank you for this lovely post. Forgiveness is such a beautiful gift from God! I'm glad you have that "squeaky clean" feeling (which is one I love, too).

I love what Mark Twain said: "Forgiveness is the scent of the violet on the heal that crushes it." Isn't that lovely?

Now excuse me while I run to confession! :)

PS I know what you mean - I had a boss like that, too. I'm glad forgiveness has lifted the weight from your soul. I'm working on that one, too.

PSS My sister has gone to Burning Man in years past. (It's not my thing, but I noticed the photo credit.)

MuseSwings said...

Hello Esther! My daughter has gone to Burning Man for about the past 4 years. Quite an experience from what I understand. Squeaky clean is exceptionally good - first time I have ever really experienced it just because the true scope of forgiveness is so awsome. Those bosses. Sorry you had one of "them" too.

Esther said...

Hi Cynthia: I'm still "in recovery" - I left the job about 3 months ago. I keep hearing of continued negative comments and am praying about how to handle it - the Serenity Prayer or standing up for myself? It is very, very tiring... and the truth is I'm a bit afraid of him.

I'm glad you've achieved peace. That's wonderful!

Christ be with us,


Lavinia said...

Sounds like you had a revelation, a breakthrough...

I'm like one has maimed, killed, etc me or anyone in my family, but I do believe that only continued prayer can keep this from ever happening.

Giving it all to God is the best idea.

Thanks for this thoughtful post.

MuseSwings said...

Thank you for your comments! Yes life is so much better when I remember to give it all to God.

chad said...

cynthia, great post...glad you are running on all cylinders. it certainly is a process and i'm realizing that identifying a deeper part of myself often means having to revisit--in a deeper way--things that i've already "gotten past". this has been an interesting realization for me...glad to share the journey with you though.

MuseSwings said...

Chad, glad to be sharing the journey with you as well!