So here it is, the blog post I feel like I’ve needed to write but really haven’t wanted to. I make myself reread these posts sometimes to help me to remember everything I’ve said, and this is mainly why I’m writing this one.
This is coming from a place of a hurting heart right now. I was in the shower earlier and just realised all over again how much I really need Jesus and his incredible peace and healing at the moment. I’ve also come to realise that one of the biggest issues for Christians everywhere is that we try to take care of everyone. At the moment, I feel like I’ve been carrying the world’s problems, and his wife’s as well, and trying to move on through it. Jesus tells us that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. As ourselves.
Do you love yourself?
Now, I’m not abdicating a lifestyle of arrogance and selfishness, but I am saying that we need to make sure that we’re taking better care of ourselves. If you’re reading this and you don’t feel like this is an issue for you, keep reading; if you’re reading on behalf of your friend who’s struggling right now, this might be beneficial to read. One of the ways I’ve always coped with being depressed is looking after other people. From cooking meals to buying things, to sitting chatting to whatever. Most of the time it’s because I want to and because I’d like to think of myself as someone who is trustworthy and is there for the people that I care about. But sometimes its because I forget that I should really be looking after me, too.
Half the trouble with this is, is that depression makes you believe you’re not worth the effort as it is. And you know what? That’s a total lie. You ARE worth the effort and you ARE important.
So how can you do this? Think of all of those things that you do for your friends, and try a few out on you. For me, it’s making a cup of tea and buying some of that Cadburys Creations chocolate with the biscuit bits in and watching a good movie on Netflix, or taking a long shower or getting a few extra hours sleep. How can you be ready to take care of other people if you’re not taking care of yourself?
The second part of this blog is a little more related to the actual title. I realised earlier on that being angry and upset about different things is healthy, and normal, but not want God wants in the long run. Or the short run, I guess. Anyway. One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is that sometimes people will let you down and sometimes people won’t be as reliable as you think they might be. More than anything though, this has to do with our expectations and how they match up with our reality. As I’ve mentioned before in one of my posts, I’m a big believer in that actions speak louder than words. In fact, they shout kindness and care. I was doing some reflecting in the shower as is generally the case if I’m not singing ridiculously loudly (sorry if you’ve ever had to endure that), and I thought over those people who had hurt me or done me wrong in my eyes. Then I was thinking about the Lord’s prayer, when Jesus tells us to pray “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” – note the key bit there, as we forgive those who sin against US.
All of that hurt and anger I had and will have going on because of the injustice in the world or because of how I might be hurting about something or other, just imagine the pain in God’s heart every time we let him down or we hurt him. Now, this isn’t a blog post about guilt or shame or whatever. Because one of the most beautiful things about Jesus is his grace and his forgiveness. Part of loving Jesus is being showered by this incredible grace and forgiveness that we do not deserve – but God loved us more than enough, too much I guess, so that this didn’t really matter anymore. God did the unthinkable to have a relationship with us. And I guess for me this evening it really put my anger into perspective. Yeah, its not fair that I’ve been wronged in this way or that. It’s not fair that you’ve been wronged, either. But you know what also isn’t fair? Grace. Grace isn’t something that we should have, but we do anyway, and the least we can do is accept it.
So I guess what I’m saying is, I’m leaning on Jesus’ grace to be forgiving to other people. Don’t get me wrong, please don’t read into this as if my house has been robbed or I’ve lost my ears in some horrific fight with someone, I’m just saying, Jesus’ grace is more than enough for us. So much so, I like to think of it as if its overflowing in us that it just has to be passed onto other people. The people that have hurt us and graved us, no matter how small or how big the action was. I want to overflow and I want to be a forgiving woman of God. Like most things, I guess it takes practice. But I’m writing this as a way of saying I’m ready to take that challenge. Why? Because I’m deciding to love myself all over again, just as Jesus has told me to. I’m making cups of tea, I’m taking long soapy showers. I’m sleeping, I’m buying Sainsburys out on chocolate. And part of me loving myself, as is part of anyone loving themselves, is knowing that we have to let go of the past and hold out for a fabulous future in Jesus.
Do you love yourself? Do you feel good enough to love yourself? You should, because you are.
So. Best place to start with forgiveness? Start with you.
Peace and blessings x