When the quarantine began, I made a list of everything I wanted to accomplish with my extra time at home. In addition to basic daily duties of cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc., I wanted to address my own list of ?honey do? tasks that had gone untouched for months. You know that list, right? Things such as clean out the garage, organize the file cabinet, and fix the broken drawer in the laundry room. More importantly, I made a list of the spiritual and physical items I hoped to achieve: daily prayer and devotion time, routine exercise for myself and my family, less screen time for the kids, and helping others in need when possible.
It's been over two months since we began this ?journey? and I failed to fully accomplish many, many of the items listed above. In fact, some days not even the basics got done. Pajamas were worn all day and the kids were on their electronic devices for far too many hours. The workout video was unplayed and the Bible laid lonely on my nightstand. How could I have wasted so much time? I was far from the perfect pandemic version of myself I had planned.
Matthew 18:21?35 teaches us that we must forgive others as God has forgiven us. But what about forgiving ourselves? What does scripture teach us about self-forgiveness?
?But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.? - Romans 5:8
This verse reminds us that in His abundant love for each of us, God sent Christ to die for us, so we would be forgiven and saved. Perfection is not a requirement. We weren't forgiven based on getting things perfect and right. We are forgiven based on Christ alone. If God forgives us, we should certainly learn to forgive ourselves.
?Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.? - Romans 8:1?2
We must also remember that once we are in Christ, we are set free from the power of sin. If God says there is no condemnation, why would we disagree with Him by engaging in self condemnation, rather than self-forgiveness?
?If the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.? - John 8:36
When you forgive yourself, you let go of your past mistakes and live a life free from regret. Only then are you able to experience the freedom God intended us all to have. When I look back on this time in my life, I will try not to think of my regrets, mistakes, or the things undone. I loved as God would want me to love. I prayed as God would want me to pray. I hoped as God would want me to hope. And I will forgive myself as God forgave me.
? Kathy Bernal