To make sure I keep myself humble, and to show you that I always learn more than I can teach I thought I would follow up my devotionals/teaching posts with my life application of them.
Normally I would wait and at least give you more than a day's worth of reflection, but yesterday after I posted Forgiving Yourself I was struck over the head several times on the subject of forgiveness.
The first thing I did was take my own advice and truly contemplate what I thought my worst vice was. What did I do that constantly made me un-happy with myself and therefore caused me to, at times, hate myself. As I thought about it I think I came up with it: complacency.
I get into moods where I believe things are "good enough", and I accept that they are and move on. However, I have found that when I do this that it comes back and bites me in the butt. Hard. Suddenly I'm transported back to that great Calvin & Hobbs cartoon where Calvin is trying to sell "Swift Kicks in the Butt for a Dollar!" And as no one seems to be buying his service he turns to Hobbs and utters, "Why is it that the one thing people need nobody wants?"
I do not want a swift kick in the butt at any price, but time and again I get it. And I have yet to understand why this happens. And so it was this thought that reminded me that I, at times, allow complacency to creep in and cause me turmoil. The thoughts, "If I had only done this..." "If I had thought about..." So, as I also talked about what is it that I can do to turn this around?
I have to forgive myself or past mistakes will keep coming back and I'll continually beat myself up about it. Second I have a new question that I ask myself at the end of every task, "Have I done all I can do?" If the answer is "Yes" then I need to move on. If something happens and I learn there was something else I needed to do then I need to realize that it was an honest mistake, learn from it, and move on. If the answer is "No" then I need to continue working until I'm satisfied that I've done everything I can do.
For me honest mistakes hurt far less than casual mistakes that could have been prevented if I were on my game.
Second I listened to North Point's 2nd Part of their series Life Applications. The second part is about the life application of forgiveness. There are many references in the Bible to forgiveness and we know that to make ourselves whole we need to forgive. Not because the other person deserves it, but because it frees us from the grudge and residual anger that eats at us. Even if it is directed at ourselves. If you get the chance I suggest you listen to it. Especially the very end when they have an incredible special guest.
I'll come back and visit how I'm doing with this new found thought, but I want you to know that I don't take what I tell you lightly. If I'm going to teach I have to believe it. Which is also why they would kick me out of public school as a teacher because I'm not teaching anything as fact when I know it to be false. That's a discussion for another time though.
I know that forgiving yourself is hard, but I hope that you do. It will release you from so many beatings that you have given yourself, and suddenly life doesn't seem nearly as harsh as it was before. Remember nothing is ever destroyed from without unless it was first destroyed from within.