Monday, March 15, 2010

Encouragement: More than Forgiveness- Acceptance!

" I can't just forgive myself ... " How often have we heard or spoken these words? Many fo us struggle with a lingering sense of guilt in our hearts, even after we have repented of our sin and know in our minds that we are forgiven.

What we need to learn in this situation is that acceptance is also a part of the discipline of repentance and confession. " In Jesus Christ, I am forgiven." This is a statement we make by faith, and as feelings arise that contradict it, we must affirm it again and again.

ANother key to acceptance is understanding that absolute moral perfection will only be attained in heaven. We are fallible people. Scripture reminds us that, " The Lord is like a Father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. For He understands how weak we are; He knows we are only dust " (psam 103; 13-14). We are people of dust, and often we are coverd with the grit and grime of sin. But in Jesus Christ, God loves us, neveretheless, and he is constantly transforming us into His image. No physical body has been in perefect health at all times, and its vitality can be seen even in sickness as it fights to overcome infection or heal wounds. This self-repair is itself a sign of life and health. In the sameway, our sensitivity to sin and our willingness to repent signals that our spiritual lives are alive and well.

We must also recognize that human limitations need not be merely sourse of shame, they can also be avaenues for grace. When we are tempted to despair, we remind ourselves at that very moment that this is why Christ came.

God has created us with both potential and limitations Both are to be managed by the Holy Spirit. We are not to let weaknesses or failures disqualify us nor discourage us from making an effort in the first place.Our attitude is not, "If we try harder, we will never fail," Rather we say, "Though I may fail in the attempt , I will go forward." We know that God uses each failure to bring us new growth, with His grace and acceptance undergirding us.

"But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong." 1 John 1:9. (NLT)

Be Encouraged

A.Othniel
(www.aothniel.net)

Letter # 10 (14. 3. 2010)