I used to think that forgiveness was just to let other people off the hook, but now I understand that it's also to take off the hook that other people have on our lives.
I'm ashamed to admit that I did something unthinkable a couple of years ago ... I pushed a blind man who was walking on the sidewalk.
One evening, my roommate and I were walking down the street to catch our Uber. As we were talking, a mysterious man walking his dog pushed up on me like he was about to rob me or something.
I immediately went into defense mode and shoved him away from me with all the strength I had. There was two of us and one of him. If he didn't have a weapon, my roommate and I weren't about to go down without a fight, you hear me?
After pushing the man away, he screamed, "Don't push me" in a very hurt tone. He then continued walking down the block as if nothing happened, and I was a little confused.
A few moments later, I connected the dots and realized that the man was blind. He wasn't walking his dog; his dog was walking him.
It all suddenly made sense to me, and I started to feel guilty. I live with a blind person, my grandma, and I know the struggles and challenges that she faces.
The man was hurt because he didn't mean to push up on me. He probably assumed that I saw that he was blind, but I didn't.
As we were riding in the Uber, I realized I couldn't stop thinking about what just happened. It was an accident. I didn't know that the man was blind. It happens. Just let it go, Maggie.
And just like that, I asked God for forgiveness, and then I forgave myself for what happened.
Have you ever held onto something you did or the role that you played in someone getting hurt? We all know that we should forgive others, but sometimes the biggest challenge can be forgiving ourselves.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:19
The enemy wants to condemn us when we mess up, but God wants to free us. If He can forgive us, we can surely forgive ourselves.
A part of forgiveness is rectifying situations. If a wrong can be fixed, humble yourself and fix it. Call the person you need to call to resolve an issue or hear a person out who's been wanting to talk to you.
No matter what the outcome is, when you've done your part and asked God for forgiveness, forgive yourself and move forward.
We all mess up, but with the gift of freedom that God gave us at the cross, we can be better people moving forward. Keep pressing toward the mark, friends :).
Have you ever had a hard time forgiving yourself for something you've done? What's one thing you can do today to apply today's message to your life? As always, I'd love to hear from you. Head on over to discussions page on the blog, and I look forward to chatting with you.
Know someone who'd benefit from today's message? Share it with a friend!
You were born to do great things. Forgive yourself and move forward.