For the past couple of weeks we’ve been using our Doses of Hope to talk about the names that God has for us – the things that He says are true about us – so we can let that truth sink in. And while God repeatedly calls us chosen, loved, blessed, and gifted (and that we belong), there’s a huge truth He says about us that can sometimes be hard to fathom: we’re forgiven.
I think most of us know that on an intellectual level. But as easy as it is to know that God says we’re forgiven, how difficult is it sometimes to truly forgive ourselves? I’m talking about loving ourselves as God loves us. Last year I shared that we can’t love our neighbor as ourselves until we learn to love ourselves.
And loving ourselves sometimes starts with forgiving ourselves… of all the things we don’t do perfectly, all the things we fall short at compared to others, all the things we mess up, our limitations and the dreams that haven’t come true yet, and all the things other people have to say about us, too. If God Himself washes us in forgiveness and looks at us with love, then why don’t we forgive ourselves?
So this week let’s accept the forgiveness we have through Christ and let’s speak forgiveness to ourselves. Let’s not withhold from ourselves the very thing our Creator died for us to have. And let’s continue to let the love of Christ change us from the inside out.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the richesof God’s grace… – Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with youin my Father’s kingdom.” – Matthew 26:27-29 (NIV)
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”- Acts 10:43 (NIV)