We have been forgiven of our own sins if we have accepted the cleansing blood of Jesus to wash us of the old sins that have caked inside our hearts. We become whole through the One who gives life. However, a spirit of the world that despises our new selves seeks to destroy our new foundations. It gains a small foothold to create havoc the second doubt or distrust enter our minds. The lies about our identity resolves to a battle lost as we believe them.
We aren't worthy.
We haven't been made new...we're still the same old, horrible people from before.
We are weak.
Lies. Deceitful and utterly harmful lies.
Buying into these lies is costly. It is the same as purposely ingesting poison into our systems. It's a spiritual suicide. The mistakes we made long ago resurface, brought into the present, and we encounter the same pain and shame just as if we were trapped to relive those past moments. The blessings of today are robbed from us and we begin to resent who we are--not realizing that we now have distorted visions of ourselves. Self-unforgiveness bubbles through and we have committed the sin of murder.
But we can be resurrected.
Today, I thought about the events that lead me to feel as though the new person I am was only a distorted dream. I confess to having believed the lies, choosing not to forgive myself for the person I used to be...then I realized that the person I have to forgive doesn't exist anymore. She died to the world two years ago and now, there is a faithful spirit that resides in me. It gives me a new identity, but I had to remove the eyeglasses that the deceitful spirit placed on me, giving me an incorrect perception. I see who I am--a daughter of the King of all Kings, the Alpha and Omega, the Life, the One who gives life.
I went outside to my porch and prayed. I talked to God about the life I want. I told Him that if there was any unforgiveness in my heart, to make it known to me. I listed off the names of people who have hurt or offended me, even if I knew I forgave them years ago; I made a point to say each name out loud, declaring my forgiveness. Then came the very last person: myself. I asked God to forgive me of my pride and any other sin I was unaware of...then I realized something.
Thoughts of skepticism and irritating hurt arose immediately. I didn't speak out that I forgive myself. That hurt to think about because I didn't want to say it.
I know that in order to forgive someone and to truly do so, you must consciously prepare yourself, keeping it at the forefront of your mind daily until the pain of the memory is no longer present. Each day, if thoughts escalate into ones that are not of God, then they must be rebuked and you must outwardly admit that you forgive that person. Speak out that forgiveness. It gets easier every day... even for ourselves:
"Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." --Romans 12:2.
So, today, while looking into the mirror, I will tell myself that I forgive me for the mistakes I made, the person I was, and remind myself that she doesn't exist. I am a new creation:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
--2 Corinthians 5:17
I am strong. I am loved, and best of all, I have a purpose:
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10.
If you find yourself feeling resentful towards yourself or another person, I encourage you to pray about it. If you want to change your life and become a new creation, or if you want to make sure that you aren't seeing a distorted vision of yourself, speak this out to God. If the words do not come, then say these words:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) "Help me to forgive others and myself of the sins that You forgive in me. Help me to see myself with the eyes You see me with. Remove all footholds in my life that the enemy clings to so that I may have peace in You. Holy Spirit, guide me through each day and help me to renew my thoughts and renew my forgiveness for every offense. I trust that I am created new with the blood of Jesus and pray for Your Spirit to move in the lives of those who have hurt me. In Jesus' name, Amen."
I hear chains breaking with each person who is forgiven. Amazing!
Rattling in chains no more,