Complete Forgiveness

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalms 103:12

Sometimes I ask women if they think they’re smarter than God. They always answer, “Of course not.” I then proceed to explain that if they asked God to forgive them but still feel guilty, they obviously haven’t forgiven themselves. If God has forgiven, but we can’t, we must think we know better than God. Because  we live in a sin-filled world that accepts us very conditionally, we tend to accept ourselves very conditionally too. Most of us find it very difficult to imagine how a just God can forgive us completely when mortals seem to keep score of our every wrong. For forgiveness to go from head knowledge to heart knowledge takes a lot of practice.

The Lord’s Prayer tells us that our sins will be forgiven as we forgive others. This is another important point. I see clients who hold grudges toward themselves because they are holding so many  toward God and others. They think that our unforgiveness will somehow result in vengeance on those who have hurt us. But it is more likely to make them sick, depressed, and miserable. Forgiveness is absolutely necessary for joy for the journey.

Prayer:  Lord, help me choose today to release my grudges toward myself, You, or others. Lord, help me to grasp the reality of your forgiveness.


Guarding Ourselves

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.

Proverbs 21:2

I recently read an interesting article containing interviews with people who had robbed houses. None of the criminals were sorry about their deeds, and they all had excuses: “Their door was unlocked; they deserved to be robbed.” They had too much stuff anyway; they didn’t miss the things I took.” The criminals showed no signs of guilt, only anger that they had been caught.

When I encounter patients with no guilt, I know the chances of them getting better are slight. Rarely does  a sociopath, a person who feels that other people are put on earth for them to use and abuse, seek counseling of their own free will. A sociopath usually enters therapy to manipulate either a family member or the court system.

What can we, as women on the journey, do about the sociopath in our lives? To the best of our ability, we must refuse to let ourselves be sexually, physically, or verbally abused.  Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so as God’s daughters we have the duty to protect ourselves.

Prayer:  Lord, help me guard my heart and my body from all kinds of abuse today.