Mike and I went to Inspire last night at church. The topic was forgiveness and the speaker was Fr. Dan Dorsey. Forgiveness is something I struggle with in my own life. Not only forgiving others for what they do to me, but more forgiving myself and accepting God’s love and forgiveness.
One thing that Fr. Dorsey said really stuck with me though when he was talking about allowing ourselves to accept God’s love in our lives. No matter what we do, God still loves us. There is no ifs or stipulations on His love. He loves us unconditionally.
He held up a picture that his niece colored for him. He said that he loves the picture even though there are spots that she colored outside the lines. He also said that we try to stay “in the lines” of our lives… to remain good and have trouble believing that God could love us if we stray outside those lines. He said that we could be completely outside the lines and God will still love us no matter what… just as he loves his colored picture from his niece even though it isn’t perfect.
Again, I struggle with this. It is hard for me to accept His love and forgiveness when I have done wrong. I ask myself how He could love me when I am such an unworthy person. I need to remember that my life is often outside the lines and that even when I go outside the lines and I am not perfect that my Lord loves me as if I was perfect. I was made in His image and likeness. He loves me the way I am. Of course, he wants me to be the best I can be. But, he died for my sins and knows that I am not perfect. He only wants me to love him and be the person he wants me to be. That, I can do!
Just as Jesus forgave and died for our sins, I too must forgive. I must forgive others, forgive myself, and accept His love in my life despite what my human brain is telling me.
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
NAB Luke 23:34