“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Isa. 43:18-19
I woke up this morning feeling pretty good: my joints weren’t as stiff as over the last few days, and I was somewhat rested. During my morning stretches, I felt led to thank God for His “new mercies”, so that I could really start the day fresh. Well, before I finished flexing my feet, I realized that I’d forgotten a family member’s birthday. Not by just a day or so, either.
A cold splash of embarrassment hit, followed quickly by shame, a familiar one-two punch for me. Then it wasn’t long before other goof ups I’d committed paraded in front of me. And I’m not sure which was worse – how I judged myself, or the judgement I assumed others have had about me.
If someone else were to share a struggle like this with me, I’d probably say something like: “Even if you did make a mistake, you’re being awfully hard on yourself. Beating yourself up isn’t going to change anything. Make it right as best you can, then let it go.”
That sounds like pretty good advice. So why is it so hard for me to follow? Part of the reason may be low self esteem, or looking for worth in what i do. But I think another part of it is a lack of faith.
In many scripture passages, I can find God’s promises about this very type of situation:
- He forgives our sins
“he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness…” 1Jn 1:9
- He removes our sins
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Ps 103:12
- He forgets our sins
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Is 43:25
It seems like God has a lot more mercy on me than I’ve had on myself. And as His child, I need to concentrate more on what He says than how I feel. Yes, I’ll send a card and maybe even make a call to express belated birthday greetings. But then it’s time to move on to those new things He’s doing!