“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.” – Richard Bach, is a best-selling American writer.
The title of this post is from one of my favorite movies ever, Just Friends. Samantha James (Anna Ferris) is a wickedly funny and ridiculous pop star who writes a song about forgiveness, saying sorry, and make-up sex. It’s quite comical and I recommend everyone watch it during the holidays (it’s totally a Christmas movie and Ryan Reynolds looks divine in it).
Point being? This post is about forgiveness… but not what you’re thinking.
Too many of us are bearing grudges against ourselves. Yes! We’re so quick to blame other people for things, but the worst grudge to hold is the internal one. We hold on to guilt, it keeps us from progressing and reaping the blessings God wants to bestow upon us.
As a young adult, I’m trying to figure out who I am. Everyone says college is four years relegated to figure out who we are as a person, but I highly disagree. Four years couped up with people the same age with the same goal (read: graduate) hardly qualifies as a time for us to figure out what our purpose is in life.
We all get on this kick that we are supposed to know our purpose immediately upon graduation. That’s a struggle in itself. But I think one of the most widespread issues we have at this age is the struggle to be able to overcome our mistakes. Perhaps we’ve said something we didn’t mean, we made a really huge mistake on the job or we let someone or something (a team, a client) we care about down; maybe we didn’t use our money wisely. There are a variety of things that can pile on our minds, but I personally am learning to overcome those feelings of guilt that can creep so stealthily.
Those feelings that nag on you endlessly? That’s not God’s will. That’s the devil. I know a lot of people scoff when the devil is mentioned because it just seems to hardcore (for lack of better words), but it’s the truth. He wants you to feel guilt. He wants you to relive mistakes so that you can’t move on.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34
Here’s the thing: God has already forgiven you. Why can’t you forgive yourself? Nobody is perfect — not one of us — and we all do things we wish would do redo or take back. But since we can’t, what’s the point of dwelling? Why not move forward and learn? Why not become a better person, confidant, employee, boss, co-worker, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, sister, brother, parent, etc. because of it?
Wipe your slate clean. God created you as his masterpiece. Joel Osteen said (today) that he read an article that determined the worth of the human body. Researchers say that according to every enzyme, bone, muscle, follicle — everything in our body, that we are worth $6 million. SIX MILLION DOLLARS! Isn’t that amazing?
What’s more amazing? God thinks we are worth so much more than that. A lot of times when we make mistakes, we feel bad because usually we feel our worth has gone down in certain person’s eyes: our boss, our parents, our significant other, just to name a few examples. When you put your worth in the hands of human beings, you will be let down. I know that sounds negative, but it’s true. We are only human. Things will be said that will hurt you, actions will be taken that might disappoint you at times. These things may be on purpose, some of them may not. Regardless, they’re only human and you can expect them to make mistakes as well. But know that God is the only one that really matters, and His mercy allows us to be a byproduct of His grace. Furthermore, the people who are meant to be in your life will forgive you as well, as they are living uniformly with God’s will everyone. So stop worrying about that and know that God has forgiven you because he, frankly, is awesome. Honestly, can you imagine watching your only son be nailed to a cross? Can you imagine watching people laugh and make fun of him? Hurt him? Humiliate him in the worst way possible? Watch them relish every last breath? And then be able to forgive them all? That’s exactly what God did. So I think he’ll be able to forgive you saying that thing you wish you didn’t say or for royally screwing up your team’s project.
Know that your worth is not dependant on if someone else forgives you, if someone else thinks you’re amazing or if someone else wants you for the job. It’s God who gives you your worth, and he thinks you are absolutely amazing. He forgives you, and when He does, you are free.
Thank God for your mistakes. Do so knowing that these things are making you a stronger, more able human being. They teach you lessons and make you better for them. They allow you to progress and to overcome them in the future (at least that’s what they’re intended for). While mistakes bring you trouble and dispair, know that for every trial God will bless you double for your hardship. He does not want you to wallow in guilt, but rather soar in the spirit.
Forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others… which I’ll discuss in Part II tomorrow.