Forgiveness—the actual felt experience—can seem so far off. It’s not like God is withholding something that he made freely available nearly 2,000 years ago. We can begin to feel it’s personal—“There’s got to be something wrong with me!” may be the tormented sentiment.
What do we do with a reality that seems so different to what others experience?
Feeling envious about the joy and peace others are experiencing certainly won’t help, but it is understandable. We may experience resentment and anger for what we feel we cannot control. The truth is, however, none of us can control something that is what – it – is—God’s grace gift-wrapped and presented as forgiveness—done once for all time.
Who would want to control of it?
We would only wish to partake of it.
Firstly, the problem for the many that haven’t experienced forgiveness is self-condemnation—whether conscious or unconscious—has been a key barrier.
Secondly, and critically, we must know the great hope that consists in the fact: forgiveness experienced once is forgiveness accepted forever. Once we ‘get it’ we get it for the rest of our natural lives. This second fact provides the summum bonum of hope.
Breaking the ‘Habit’ of Self-Condemnation
All our lives are a requiem for messages of condemnation in failure. The world hates failure and we have learned very well from the fearful ones who’ve influenced us that we get accepted when we succeed, yet we’re rejected when we fail. Failure in many ways is an irredeemable reality from this viewpoint. Life shifts sideways in turmoil and recovery isn’t possible, hence the denial we must respond with in order to simply survive.
Self-condemnation creates a situation where we live apart from ourselves psychologically and spiritually.
When we don’t like ourselves deep down we cannot receive God’s forgiveness, purely because we cannot conjure thought of anyone loving us complete with our failure and brokenness.
Self-condemnation is a habit, hard-wired into the brain by the ways we instinctively think. The good news is this habit can be completely restructured and debunked.
Once the Heart ‘Gets’ Grace We’re Transformed for Good
This simple fact is a delight to everyone who lives it.
This is hope for everyone who needs their portion of grace from God.
Central to this transformation is our healing. With abounding healing, upon the journey to leave no stone unturned, comes a heart prepared to receive its portion of forgiveness. At the centre point of our healing is truth—to accept the truth that we’re loved by God no matter what we do.
The experience of God’s forgiveness can seem a mystery, but it is available to all. First we must deal with the habits of guilt and shame, or self-condemnation. Second we must know that once we ‘get it’ the experience of God’s grace remains as a once-for-all-time reality to enjoy and explore.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.