Forgiveness to Grant…or Receive

…but not both

In America (and around the world really) we are being inundated with supposedly wise ideas and anecdotes that are sometimes true, but often times are not.  Case in point…

“You have to learn to forgive yourself.”

Now, on the surface this looks like a brilliant and poignant saying.  Of course it makes sense, right?  We are supposed to forgive others, or so says the Bible.  According to the same book we are to be given forgiveness by God if we ask…so it would only make sense that we should be able to forgive ourselves right?

Wrong.

All of the “forgive yourself” sayings:

  • “You have to forgive yourself before you can ask for forgiveness,”
  • “you won’t have peace until you forgive yourself,”
  • “how can you forgive others if you can’t forgive yourself,”

…are based in Pagan moral codes…not Christian ones (even though some have embraced the idea).  It even shows up on supposedly credible sites like WebMD.  The idea is that if you create your own moral compass, as Pagans do, then when you do something wrong, you have violated your own law.  In Christian theology however, you don’t violate your own moral law, you violate God’s law.

Forgiveness is granted by the one sinned against.  If a person sins against another person, that second party has the ability to grant forgiveness.  If a person sins against God only, then God grants forgiveness.  Often times though, the sin is against both people and God…so forgiveness may come from many angles.

The sin is never against your own self.  This is egotism.  This manifests its self in the idea that you cannot trust that God forgives you.  Distilled, you just don’t trust God.

What passes for the idea of a good anecdote is really imprisonment.  Because you do not have the ability to forgive yourself, you end up wallowing in the past instead of moving toward a brighter (and liberated) future.

So don’t wallow in your past trying to erase the wrongs you created by attempting to adjust your own moral compass or healing the wounds you don’t have bandages for…

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