Hard Forgiveness - Encouragement Café - May 2, 2016

Hard Forgiveness by Angela Mackey

Monday, May 2, 2016

For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Romans 7:15, 24 ESV

Thirty-two years.  You have walked with the LORD thirty-two years and you still can’t get it right.

My soul burned with the acrid truth.

I felt as if I had trampled the glorious name of Jesus in the mud.  And I knew better, I had no excuse for my actions and I could not see what repercussions of my actions might incur.  The thought that my words may drive someone away from Christ, rather than towards Him, seared my soul.

I knew in my head God forgave me.  But how do I accept such undeserved grace?  How do I forgive myself?

It was as if I believed after 32 years of walking with God, I ought to be a master of the Christian life… like after 32 years of painting, an artist finally paints a masterpiece.  But somehow 32 years into this faith journey, I am still only drawing stick figures.

And maybe that is the point.  Although God wants to sanctify us and make us more like Jesus, He never asks us to become a master who can handle it alone.  Instead of becoming more capable, He wants us to become more dependent on Him… on His power… on His Spirit.

I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5 ESV

God never intended for me to walk this Christian faith without clinging to Him and His power.  When I acknowledge I can do nothing apart from Him, I am free to accept His forgiveness.  I may grieve over the consequences of my sin, but I am no longer marked as a failure.

Instead I am marked as a forgiven child of God.

Consider a vine clipping attempting to bear fruit after it has been cut off from the vine.  Remember apart from Christ you can do nothing.  So cling to the vine of Christ and allow His forgiveness to empower you to live for Him.

Father God, I am a stumbling child who longs to bring You glory and honor.  Forgive me for trying to do things on my own.  Help me to cling to You, depend on Your forgiveness, and Your power in order to live for You.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

For more encouragement, visit Angela at rethinkingmythinking.info.

© 2016 by Angela Mackey.  All rights reserved.

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