Probably one of the hardest things.
If someone has caused you pain, anguish and hurt, to be able to let it go…
When you know you have got something very wrong, and caused pain to another. To know that we have failed them, not been what they needed.
To be able to forgive ourselves…
Henri Nouwen reminds us that to be forgiven, we put ourselves in a vulnerable position. In one way we are dependent on being forgiven by the one we have wronged. But we are also dependent on God,
God can you forgive me?
Of course God has so much more to forgive us for. All the wrongs we do effect him.
But can I be open to his forgiveness? Or would I rather keep beating myself for the things I’ve got wrong?
Jesus came into the world to live our very human lives, and ultimately to pay the cost of all that humans, each one of us, have got wrong. We don’t need to carry that burden, he has already taken it. But we have to receive the gift of forgiveness. We can carry our guilt and shame to punish ourselves, because we think we deserve to feel bad, we can hang on to it because we don’t think we are worthy of forgiveness, or we can wear it like a barrier to protect our vulnerability. But God says,
I forgive you
This Advent and Christmas, will we receive that gift from him?
Before the final rush, spend some time today with God, allow him to reach you, receive his forgiveness – and forgive yourself.
3 So be careful what you do.
Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry. 4 Even if one of them mistreats you seven times in one day and says, “I am sorry,” you should still forgive that person.
And the prayer from the book:
Lord of mercy,
you are in each
and in all of us.
to understand and acknowledge
that this is why we must
forgive and ask forgiveness.
Let us see your face shine out
of the countenances of all people
This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen. You’re welcome to join us on this journey. Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub
Also blogging on the #adventbookclub are: