Why I’ve Given Up On Forgiving Myself

 

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Whenever I read or hear someone saying, but you have to forgive yourself, I ask, why. There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible that says forgive yourself.

We are told to forgive others but never ourselves. (Matthew 6:12b) Why? Because we are not God. We cannot judge ourselves. Only God knows the reasons or motives behind our actions.

God chooses not to remember our sins. He doesn’t forget them He just doesn’t want to remember them. Perhaps that’s what God wants us to do. Move on, get over it, quit rolling it around in our minds…just forget it. If we are dredging up the past in our thoughts, we are recommitting the sin. Yes, that is Biblical. Take a look at what God says about lusting in Matthew 5:28. Basically, even if you’re thinking it, you’re doing it. Look at Proverbs 4:23. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.

Another way to look at this concept is through the eyes of one who is forgiven. Do you believe that you are forgiven? Do you understand that when Jesus went to the cross He took every one of our sins on Himself? Aren’t you basically saying His death doesn’t matter?

The evil one loves this thought pattern. When we minimize what Jesus did by saying I must forgive myself, satan has a door to enter our thoughts. The second we try to make forgiving about our own ability we have made ourselves God, or at least tried to.

Paul says in Romans 8:1, there is no more condemning for those who believe in Jesus. If you believe that is true, then there is no reason to be concerned with forgiving yourself. Jesus already did the hard work. We are cleansed, washed clean and totally forgiven because of His never-ending grace. We’ve got to get over this need to do it ourselves. He did it! Let that be it!

I must add, however, that we cannot assume that we can go on sinning. It should be our greatest desire never to sin again. Even though we have been ‘made new’ we are probably going to fall into the sin pit again. The Bible is quite clear on the process at that point… Ask for forgiveness from the One and Only… Accept His loving response (Go and sin no more-John 4:1-42)…Do not return to that sin in thought, word or deed… Move on, walk away, give it up…

Heavenly Father, it is my greatest desire not to sin against You in thought, word, or deed. Yet I do. Forgive my bent to thoughts, words, and actions that do not reflect You to the world around me. Help me to listen for the ‘voice’ of the Spirt in everything I think, do, and say. Teach me Your word so that I will know what You want. Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I have been greatly honored to write this article for Blogs for Christian Women.  Click on the highlighted words and see what others are writing about it.

 

Survivor

 

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The most difficult words I have ever heard from a doctor are, YOU HAVE CANCER.       At first, I’m not sure I really heard what he said.  I had been ill for several years and was told by my doctor he could find nothing wrong, it was just a woman ‘thing’.  The problem was he wasn’t looking in the right place for the answer.  A dear, dear friend watched me go through days of terrible pain each month, saw my abdomen swell like I was pregnant, knew that it was very difficult for me to stand from a sitting position, and said this has to stop.  Please make an appointment with my doctor for a second opinion.  So I did.  The doctor’s first words were are you pregnant?  I knew I wasn’t but she determined to do an ultrasound.  During the ultrasound, where I could see the screen, the specialist asked if I could see the surface of a very large tumor.  Yes, I could but I didn’t really know what I was seeing.  He explained that what looked like chicken fat was actually cancer growing. Still numb from that experience, I got dressed and sat down in his office with my husband and waited for more information and a plan of action.

Life changed rapidly for me in the next few minutes.  His first question was, is your life in order?  Do you have a living will?  Will your job allow 3 months off?  On a Tuesday I went for a simple ultrasound so see what was going on.  The next Friday I would have major surgery.  I had 3 days to prepare.

After Ray and I digested, discussed, and yes, denied, we contacted our pastor, family, and close friends to let them know what was happening and to start lifting us up in prayer.  At 5:30 AM, that Friday, I was at the hospital, ready to go. (Well kind of…) The surgery lasted around 5 hours and when all was said and done he came out to speak with Ray. His sense of humor was evident when he said he had successfully delivered an 8 and 1/2 pound tumor and the patient was doing well.

I’m not even going to talk about the pain from that type of invasive surgery.  Let’s just say it was intense.

The next morning I was ready to start recovering.  That my friends was a long, slow, road. Lifting anything heavier than a glass of orange juice was forbidden for several weeks. Since the pressure had finally been released from my spine I would have to begin the process of walking.  Since we live a small community, the neighbors would wait and congratulate me as I was able to walk to another driveway each week.  I was not allowed to be alone for long periods of time and driving was out of the question.

God allowed me to go through this so that I could help others who would face the same diagnosis.  Here are some things I learned in the process of healing.  A listening, non-judgemental ear is an awesome, healing gift.  Don’t tell someone you understand unless you’ve experienced the same struggle.  Sometimes, your presence is all that’s needed. Silence can be the greatest gift of all.

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Bad things do happen to good people, but God really doesn’t give us more than we can handle together. More than 20 years ago I discovered His strength is there when I have none of my own.  Our God is an awesome God!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Friday Faves

Friday Faves

I’ve found some really great posts for you to check out this week.  I’ve been jetting all over the internet.  Can’t help myself.  There’s so much good writing out there!:)

10-Tips-to-Teach-True-Contentment-post-e1467123813358My word for the year is content and I was delighted to find this post at the Little Light On A Hill blog.  I’m very much a proponent of writing down my blessings, thanks to reading Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts”, and that’s just one of the 10 tips.

 

 

downloadRay and I have been hand holders from the day we met.  After many years of marriage, we still hold hands at every opportunity.  Sometimes it’s because we want to connect through touch, others it’s to show support.  This sweet article, HOLDING HANDS is a delightful story of a sweet couple who have been holding hands for many more years than we have!

 

 

 

 

4-640x823I came across this article in the Grace and Truth Link-Up at Like A Bubbling Brook.  I’m always looking for encouragement in my prayer life and this short article fits the bill perfectly.  From making time to choosing a journal it’s definitely worth the read.

 

 

My heart is breaking for the people of France.  Please lift a prayer with me…

Heavenly Father, it’s such a scary time we live in.  Give us strength and courage to move forward and share the Gospel of Peace.  For those who have lost loved ones, let them know Your Presence as the grieve.  For those who are injured, heal them completely.  Give the leaders of France and of other countries around the world wisdom and discernment in dealing with terrorism.  Soften the hearts of those who would harm the innocent.  Oh, LORD, You have promised to be always there for us and we know You are. Keep us safe in Your loving arms.  I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of Jesus.             Make it so!

 

 

 

 

 

If My People

praying-1319101_960_720One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It calms my heart every time I hear a new report of violence, shooting, terrorism, election rhetoric, job loss, sickness… I fully believe that God can do what He says He can do.  In this verse, He gives us the privilege of knowing what He will do if we follow His command.

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We are His people, called by His name.  He wants us to humble ourselves, to remember that we are not God.  We cannot do anything without Him.

We are to pray.  That’s the one thing He desires most by those called His.  He wants us to communicate with Him.  He really doesn’t care how.  He simply wants to hear from us.

We are to seek His face.  Every nuance of facial expression tells the listener what the speaker intends.  Since all scripture is God’s (2 Timothy 3:16) it stands to reason that He wants us to know His word.  Unless we know His word we cannot know what is sinful or in the words of this verse, wicked.

Once these are part of our life fabric we can expect some really powerful things to happen.  Remember, God can do what He says He can do.

First, He will hear us.  Is your prayer for healing…He hears it.  Is your prayer for no more violence…He hears it.  Is your prayer for forgiveness…He hears it.  No matter what our prayer is, if we are humble, turn away from our sins, and seek His guidance HE HEARS IT!

Second, He will forgive our wickedness, our sins, any way we fall short.  It really doesn’t matter to Him how big or small our sin is, He can and will forgive it.

Then, He says, “(I) will heal their land.”  With our country in the condition it’s in, with families falling apart, with trust at an all-time low, with…  He will heal this land.

It’s definitely time to get on our knees, to humble ourselves, and to pray (fervently) for his forgiveness and healing.  He, alone, can do what no human can.  He, alone, can forgive.  We can totally trust Him.  He loves us!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

church-768613_960_720Check out this beautiful song that uses the words of this scripture.  (Just click on the picture.)

 

10 Quotes by US Presidents

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It is the USA’s 240th birthday and I’m finding myself wanting to share some famous words by some equally famous people.  I find it interesting that the words of leaders of the past resonate so strongly with the circumstances and situations of current events.

american-flag-1311744_960_720It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.                                                                                         ~George Washington

american-flag-1311744_960_720Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side, my concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.       ~Abraham Lincoln

american-flag-1311744_960_720When you have read the Bible, you know it is the word of God, because it is the key to your heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.                                                                                                                             ~Woodrow Wilson

american-flag-1311744_960_720Make sure that you are doing what God wants you to do, then do it with all your strength.                                                                                 ~George Washington

american-flag-1311744_960_720The Lord prefers common-looking people, that’s why He made so many of them.                                                                                           ~Abraham Lincoln

american-flag-1311744_960_720Piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.                                  ~Jimmy Carter

american-flag-1311744_960_720If your actions inspire to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.      ~John Quincy Adams

american-flag-1311744_960_720The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.                                                                                    ~John F. Kennedy

american-flag-1311744_960_720Each day millions of our citizens approach our Maker on bended knee, seeking His grace and giving thanks for the many blessings He bestows upon. us.      ~George W. Bush

american-flag-1311744_960_720The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.                                                                                                                                ~Calvin Coolidge

As you read these words know that throughout the history of the USA God has placed people in leadership at the right time and the right place.  He will do so again!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words For Life

2 Timothy 3:16 -17   All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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Can you imagine placing your hands on any page of your Bible and feeling His very breath on the page?  That is exactly what this verse is saying (to me).  This is how I see it – – if I can’t see Him face to face until I enter heaven then I’ll settle (hardly the right word) for experiencing His breath in the words I’m reading.

Think about the words of this beautiful chorus from the song “Ancient Words” by Lynn DeShazo.

Ancient words ever true, changing me and changing you; We have come with open hearts, oh, let the ancient words impart.

Thy word have I hid in my heartFriends, family, sisters, and brothers in Christ there is nothing more important than knowing God’s word.  In every action and situation of our lives,  we can draw on the Word and know without question it was written for that very purpose.

God did not leave us alone on this earth.  He is still breathing every word, in every verse, on every page of our Bibles.

Holy words long preserved for our walk in this world, they resound with God’s own heart; Oh, let the ancient words impart.

Ah, Lord, God thank You for every word, every phrase, every letter of Your Word.  Heavenly Father place a real hunger in our hearts to know Your words and use them for our lives.  Let us not only read them but let us use them.  Put teachers in our lives to help us understand them.  Drench us with the Holy Spirit as we read and learn how to apply them.  Make it so in Jesus Name!

Friday Faves

It’s Friday again.  Yes, I know, that happens every seven days:)  Some of those weeks seem to go faster than others.  The articles I’ve chosen for this week’s post are quite varied.  I love data-driven posts and you’ll find two of them here.  Since I’m always on the look-out for Bible study techniques, I was delighted to find one that works for kids and adults.  Check them out!

Godly Counselors

 

5-Minute Bible Love Notes is one of my daily go-to blogs.  Gail writes with a clarity that comes from knowing God personally.  Her post, Godly Counselors, reminds us to select those we receive counsel from carefully.

 

VMapHope_edited-1In the article Digging Deeper: Engaging the Word of God (Kids), Deborah Haddix shares a technique that could also be applied to an adult study of individual Bible verses.

 

 

ChickfilasurveyI ran across this post quite by accident.  Very interesting data.  The Faith Equity Index uses publicly available information and corporate surveys to rank national brands.

 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Lighting The World

Mother Theresa once said, “To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.”  The same applies to life.  Unless we continue to learn, to grow, to excel, to know, we will stagnate and become just an empty lamp waiting …

oil_lampThere are several Bible verses that refer to lamps.  Proverbs 31:18b tells us ‘her lamp does not go out at night’.  This is not a reference to the night-light we use to get us to the bathroom in the middle of the night because our bladders are shot from childbirth or our bodies are aging.  The night lights of ancient times were kept lit so a weary traveler would know a welcoming home.  The use of lamps in this verse suggests we are not only to be hospitable but ready to be hospitable.

table-lamp-960976_960_720Psalm 18:28 tells us we do not keep our own lamps burning.  God does.  That is a truly interesting statement.  When we have reached some maturity in our life walk with Jesus, we start to learn that our lives are all about Him.  He is not only the Light of the World but the individual Light of our lives.  As we grow, more wicks are added to our lamps making us a brighter and brighter light.  (Ancient people added more wicks to their lamps to create a brighter glow.)

 

flame-1362921_960_720The Parable of the Ten Virgins is another well-known lamp story (Matthew 25:1-13).  The point of this parable is obedience.  The virgins who were not prepared, had to go and get more oil.  When they returned they could not enter the feast because the doors to the banquet were closed. (I really doubt anyone could have heard them knocking with the celebration that was going on.) Had they followed the instructions to keep their lamps trimmed and full they would have been attending the feast of a lifetime.  So will we, if we continue filling our minds with His Words and Ways.

Heavenly Father, how humbled I am when I realize You are the One filling the lamps.  Oh Lord, fill mine to overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Let my lamp continue burning brightly until I am finally admitted to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.  In His perfect Name make it so.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I’m Praying For You

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today I’m praying for you.  I may not know you personally or you may be among my group of besties but I AM PRAYING for you.  Here are the requests I am making before the Throne:

Father in Heaven, grant every man and woman the ability to know You more and more.  Open hearts, minds, and souls to Your incredible love for each of us.  Make us aware that in Your Word we were not only created by You but created in Your image. (Genesis 1:27)

Creator of all that is, was, and is to come, help us know the great value You place in each of us.  Help us understand deeply in every cell of our bodies that You take great joy in Your sons and daughters.  You are the Redeemer of not only our souls, but our lives, our pasts, and our futures.  You see us during our times of deepest fear and greatest joy.  Help us know and understand Your great love for us.  (Psalm 31:7)

Abba, Father, I know You hear each of us.  You hear our praise. You hear our needs. You hear our nearly silent pleas for mercy. You hear us when we regret our sins. You hear us when we have no one but You.  Oh, Lord, hear this prayer.  Grant each of us the ability to totally trust in You. (I Chronicles 5:20)

I lift this prayer before the Throne of Grace, in the Precious Name of Jesus, my Lord, my Provider, my Savior…     Make it so!

This post is linked to Literacy Musing Monday’s.