The Shock and Awe of Self-Forgiveness

The Beggar's Bakery

By:  Jana Greene

Many promising reconciliations have broken down because, while both parties came prepared to forgive, neither party came prepared to be forgiven.

… Charles Williams

The gesture of forgiving someone else is often referred to as “extending the Olive branch”.   How peaceful is that imagery?  The phrase conjures a picture of Biblically attired individuals, stepping forward in dusty, sandaled feet and stretching out a hand to offer and receive a leafy twig in reconciliation.

Self-forgiveness doesn’t feel like that at all to me.  When it comes to forgiving myself, it’s not a peace-summit  olive branch that comes to mind.  It’s more like a flag raised on a bloody battlefield.

Part of the difficulty is that as long as I carry guilt, it seems like I’m paying back some of the debt that I drove up in my sin.   This is really like telling God, “Thanks for the mind-blowing…

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