Yesterday in church my Uncle Pastor spoke from I John 3. One of the reasons I attend church is because I was not called to preach. I do study the Word, but there is still so much that I don’t understand. But I love how God uses my Pastor to speak to me during the message. This past Sunday was no different. Actually, I believe this past Sunday changed my life forever. It’s funny how we can be our own worst enemy. How we can hold our past over our heads, condemning ourselves even after we have repented and am trying to move forward. When we got to I John 3:20, I knew God was speaking directly to me (never-mind the other 11 people in the audience). We all fall short, but God knows all of the circumstances that play a role in why we fail. He knows exactly why we missed the mark. I don’t know if He takes all of that into consideration when passing out grace or judgements, but He knows. The takeaway for me was to not let my heart, which can be deceitful, keep me stuck in my shortcomings. I don’t have to continue to remind myself of my failures. I am free to move on because I know I have repented of my sins. And even the honest mistakes (not all mistakes are sins) that I have made don’t have to be dangled over my own head. I don’t have to constantly relive the initial sting of them.
Some may already have this down, and may even wonder why I don’t. But everyday I am growing and maturing in my walk. I criticize myself so often because I sometimes doubt that God has truly forgiven me. I doubt that He has seen the whole picture when in fact, He has seen sides of stories I will never see. The scripture tells us that “if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” Sometimes our heart is dead on and there are still lingering things we need to address with God, and sometimes our heart is holding on to things we have already surrendered. So, to my heart, I don’t have to hold on to any of my past failures any longer. I am free to accept God’s forgiveness and walk in His grace.