Recently, I have been trying my hardest to just focus on where I am going with God. It hasn’t been all that easy but already I know that this is going to be a beautiful aspect of my journey with Christ. It always breaks my heart when people tell me that they used to be believers but no longer are because of God. God didn’t do something or following Jesus didn’t make things better for them. It truly breaks my heart because I feel those ways too. Sometimes I feel like God isn’t helping me as much as I know he can. Truth is, yeah he’s not always going to do that. Following Jesus doesn’t put a band-aid in your life and fixes everything. No. Following Jesus gives you armor. Armor that helps you and I fight the battles to come.
I’m going through this season of Metanoia. According to Google:
1. change in one's way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion.
late 19th century: from Greek, from metanoein ‘change one's mind.’
God recently dropped this word in my spirit and it has been repeated in my soul every day since. To be going through a season of….no metanoia isn’t a seasonal thing. It’s a lifetime thing. Following Jesus is choosing to spend your life as a result of a metanoia. I had to give you all this background because I have to explain the picture above. Forgiveness.
You and I both know what areas God needs to slowly work on in our lives. Areas we know we need help in severely. Areas even our loved ones have brought up to us. Though, sometimes there are areas we didn’t even know we need to work on. Personally, I knew that I needed to work on forgiving people, but I didn’t realize that what I was neglecting to really work on was and still is: forgiving myself.
I don’t think there is anyone else in my life I struggle to forgive as much as myself. Maybe it’s because I know my sins better than anyone else in my life - aside from God of course? Or maybe it’s because I know my weakness, the things I don’t share with the world as often with? Maybe it’s because, at the end of the day, I allow myself to listen to my doubts and the enemy by believing that I don’t deserve to be forgiven. Whatever the reason is, I fight self forgiveness whenever God tells me to cut myself some slack. I know…it’s pretty absurd that God has to tell me to forgive myself. This is why God has me in a metanoia season.
I guess I know a little bit more about how Peter and David felt.
But Peter followed at a distance. Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
- Luke 22:54b - 62
“David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!” When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him,”
- II Samuel 12:16-24 NKJV
If you’ve ever been to church you know both of these guys weren’t in the right about what they did. We, including our leaders, tend to point out these very flaws in our so-called biblical heroes because, at the end of the day, they are only human. See that? I can easily say that someone is just human and they deserve forgiveness but when it’s me, it’s another story. I haven’t mastered how to forgive myself completely but here are some things that God has dropped on my spirit as I was ready these verses.
Your unforgiveness isn’t from God:
This is a harder pill to swallow because it’s basically God calling me out. I’m not listening to Him but to my guilt and the enemy. If I’m choosing to follow Christ then why am I listening to anyone else but Christ? Pity parties, self-doubt, and unforgiveness all come from me and not the best side of me either. If I aim to be the best version I can be, I cannot give in or allow the worst sides of myself to dedicate how I feel.
You’re standing in the way of your own peace:
I was recently listening to a podcast from the Potter’s House, and Bishop T.D. Jakes said, “when you live long enough, you will come to a point where you will choose peace over joy.” I have always valued joy because of the famous verse, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) But I’m misquoting it and misusing it. Peace ought to be just as important as joy but if you have joy and no peace because of something that is in your control then maybe it’s time to reevaluate your spiritual priorities. You should, under no circumstance, be the reason why you don’t have peace. If unforgiveness for your past and mistakes are the reasons why you’re not at peace then it’s time to ask God to help you understand why you’re throwing away what many people fight to have.
You did your best:
I get more and more in my 20s, I have begun to repeat this phrase more and more. Perfection is my Achilles and though it may have been helpful in school and at work, it is anything but helpful in my spiritual life. Every mistake, every time God has to put me in his spiritual class, I realize that I’m just never going to be my version of perfect. I’m still learning to tell myself that I did my best. Once you repent for your mistakes, once you realize what your actions or lack of actions have caused, then it just makes sense for you to forgive yourself.
This season of metanoia has been teaching me to adopt an essential part of who God is: forgiveness. It’s not even remotely comfortable but…it’s worth learning because we all come to a point when we struggle to understand why God chose to forgive us when we cannot forgive ourselves. If you struggle with forgiving yourself as I do, let me know what you do or what scripture you read to help you overcome this. We must learn to forgive ourselves, again, again, again and again. Until we find peace!
Until next time…
- 🌿 Abigail