“Why did I do that? Why did I say that? Why did I even think that?” These are questions that many ask themselves all the time? Often our way of dealing with these questions is to not to but rather to put up a wall around ourselves so we don’t have to face them. We build up walls to prevent others from getting too close because we feel uncomfortable or ashamed of what may have transpired. We feel they are our walls and hurts and we just cannot or will not let them go. When we do this, we rob ourselves of true and fulfilling relationships.
It is the same in our relationship with God; we put up walls because we know we have asked him to forgive us so many times for the same thing. We decide we cannot possibly come back again, consequently robbing ourselves of the favour and mercy God desires to pour out onto us. We cannot change any of the past, what is done is done but we need to move forward. The bible doesn’t speak directly on self forgiveness but it does say that when we confess our sins that he (god) is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins (1 John1:9). It also says that he forgets our transgressions as far as the east is from the west (Psalm103:12).
Even with all of this knowledge we seem to hold ourselves on a higher standard of accountability than others, even though the person that we did something to, said something to or even thought something about may never have known our true thoughts or feelings or has forgotten all about it. I can remember a time when I hurt someone's feelings quite deeply.
For years it would come back to my memory but I wasn't sure how to deal with it. Ten years later I met this person at reunion. That was the day, I had to apologize. When I asked his forgiveness he didn't even remember the incident. I wasted 10 years of not forgiving myself and causing myself hours or torment. What a waste!
The woman at the well was not one that you would consider a fine example of a wife. She had been married not once, not twice but five times and was now living with another man to whom she wasn’t married. In those days that was considered a huge no no. She was very aware of what people thought of her, and she was ashamed of the turns her life had taken. She was so embarrassed that she would go in the heat of the day to get water just to avoid the other women and their ridicule, their stares and their finger-pointing. Nevertheless, Jesus saw past all of that and saw something different in her, so he reached out to her.
Jesus can see through our walls just as he saw through hers. He asked her for a drink and was willing to accept it from her and even go beyond that and drink from her container. I am certain that she must have wondered what this man was talking about when he not only asked for a drink of water to quench his thirst but also offered her water that would quench her thirst forever. He spoke, not just of the water we drink, but of much more—“living water” (John 4:10). Through their conversation not only did she learn of god’s love but she was used to reach her entire community.
To continue to rehearse in our minds the events of our actions, opposes Philippians 4:8 which tells us to dwell on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. The reality is that you cannot change what has happened. However, you can make a difference in the lives of others in the future. Forgiving yourself does not release you to go and do it again but rather it is letting go so that we can move on to the plan that God has intended for us.
It is now time for you to forgive yourself and let your healing begin! So as the song says; pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again. There is a special plan waiting just for your life and no one can complete it but you.
Be blessed and encouraged