Single parents can experience a lot of guilt, so how do you forgive yourself for the things you should have done differently in your past relationships?
In chapter 14 of the Gospel of Mark verses 66-72, Peter denies Jesus three times. At a time when Jesus must have most wanted His friends nearby, they all abandoned Him. Peter was one of those closest to Him, and yet, even Peter denies Jesus, not once, not twice, but three times.
When Peter realizes what he has done, how must he have felt? He must have felt pretty guilty. In fact, we see, “He broke down and wept” (Mark 14:72). Does that sound familiar?
I cannot count the number of times I have broken down and wept over things I should have done differently. I have wished I could take back every angry word uttered during my 14 marriage, that I could fix every dirty look, and eliminate every thoughtless act. I question whether doing so would have kept my husband from leaving and would have changed my children’s lives.
I will never know.
I can make excuses. After all, he could be a jerk too! and Who can live with someone for 14 years and never have an unkind word anyway?
I can overlook the horrible things I have done. They really weren’t that bad compared to what a lot f other people have said and done to their spouses!
I can continue to beat myself up for not being perfect. No matter how hard I try, I will just never be good enough.
Or I can take the brave and take the most difficult path.
I can look myself in the mirror and be honest, facing up to the wrong I have done, working to do better to not make those mistakes in the future, asking the Lord for forgiveness and strength to help me overcome my inadequacies. Genuinely asking the Lord for forgiveness results in His forgiveness. He does not hold a grudge, so why should I?
Ask yourself if your sin is greater than God’s forgiveness? If not, how will you forgive yourself?
By holding onto the wrong we have done, we block the Lord from using our lives to advance His kingdom, to help others, to be Light in a dark world.
Imagine how different our world would have been if Peter had curled up in a ball and spent the rest of his life weeping? Instead, he invited the love and forgiveness that is Jesus into his heart and mind. He chased away the demons of negativity and allowed the Lord to do amazing things with his life.
If you forgive yourself, what amazing things will the Lord do in your life, in the lives of your children, in the lives of those around you? I am sure Peter did not plan his role in the church and yet, the Lord had amazing plans for him.
You must work to not repeat your wrongdoings, but also to forgive yourself and let the Lord shine through your faults.
Forgive Yourself and Let God’s Love for You Shine!
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