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Forgiving Yourself

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

I have been working on what Dr. Caroline Leaf calls a neurocycle. We all know the saying; it takes 21 days to form a new habit. She believes this is so in our thinking habits. Which makes sense, because our habits come from a natural reaction. Natural habits. This is scriptural. The word says to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That is Romans 12:2. This is something that happens daily. You create habits by being intentional and consistent daily.

So, I have a habit of being very critical with myself. I take everything I've done wrong, and I break it down. I remember it. I do try changing it. I go further than that. I condemn myself constantly. Maybe it has always been my way of thinking it will make it better. The word says that "he will forgive their wickedness and remember them no more" in Hebrews 8:12. Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 18 that they should forgive others not seven times but 77 times. I don't believe that we are to keep count of how many times we forgive someone. Then why even forgive the first time if you are expecting them to goof up in the end. No, we need to continue to forgive. If they are still here on this earth, they need to be shown love.

If God told us to forgive others, which is so hard to do sometimes. Why wouldn't a gracious God continue to forgive us. He sees hope in us just like he wants us to see hope in others. As I am going through the neurocycle of changing my thinking habits from constantly condemning myself to forgiving myself for past mistakes and when I currently do not hit the mark of perfection I would like to be now. I wrote something today that I felt led to share.

"Learning to forgive myself is healthy. Forgiving myself takes me to a vulnerable place. It tells me to confront myself. Face the Goliath head on. Maybe when David went up against Goliath, the giant was put there so that David would confront himself. See the courage that was put in himself. Like a preacher I listened to recently said, "Goliath drew the king out of David". God had already destined David to be king through the prophet. Maybe God didn't actually put the giant there. But the giant was definitely used to bring the courage out of David. I believe, God had been training him in some areas from the beginning. He learned to praise God in the fields. Which was a habit that followed him through out his whole life. Look at the book of Psalm. He had to lead and protect the sheep before he lead the people. If he wouldn't have gone up against the giant the way he did, I don't believe he would have moved to the next part of his journey. I'm not saying he wouldn't have eventually. How many more giants would he had to face before the people recognized him as king in the future. What would have had to take for the courage and faith to have to be drawn out of him. He faced it automatically instead of having to go around the same giant/mountain the way the Israelites did before they went into the promise land.

learning to forgive yourself

We all have certain goliaths we face and we sometimes coward down. Because of this we do not move forward. We stay stuck in the same unforgiveness, the same thought process, the same struggles. God says read my word, look, I have given you instructions on what you should do. Facing the giant really means facing yourself. What is it that you need to change inwardly so that God can change the outwardly. The scripture says that the flesh and the spirit are at odds with each other in Galatians 5. God is in us. His holy spirit is dwelling in us. He wants to pour out of every pore of us. But we have to die to the flesh. If the flesh is in contrary to the spirit, then how can the spirit live. So, if a part of your flesh is active, then how can the spirit be fully active?"

Learning to face our giants draws something out of us we did not think we had before. It draws out courage, draws out faith, draws out joy, draws out perseverance. It causes more and more self-control. In the case of forgiving myself, it draws out grace toward others for their short comings. It allows the holy spirit to work more and more in our life's, which is our ultimate goal. To be vessels, like David, for God to move and draw closer to the rest of his people.

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