Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Snowballs and Forgiveness

Picture full of evenly spaced snowballs, with the words "Snowballs & Forgiveness" superimposed.Snowballs and Forgiveness

by Lydia Floren

I mess up.  In big and little ways.  I can judge people. Disrespect their boundaries. Poke my head in where it doesn’t belong. I can be inconsiderate and rude.  Selfish. Unforgiving. I can neglect my health, Indulge myself in a pity party. Waste time…You get the idea. I mess up. A lot.

And, when I realize I’ve screwed up, I make it all worse by beating myself up.

“Why did you do that? you know better than that? What’s wrong with you?”   And then, I pile on the guilt of past misdeeds, like I’m wagging a finger at myself.  “That’s just like the last time…will you ever learn?…” And I have just started on my general sorry-ness.  My favorite phrase at this stage of the self-guilt-trip is, “I am not enough.”  I am not good enough, kind enough, considerate enough, productive enough, forgiving enough, _______ enough,.    My accusations snowball into a huge mound of negative thinking that rolls over my hope. Pretty soon, I have convinced myself that, “I am a bad person. I will never change.”

This dirty snowball that has barreled down the hill of my past failures, finally rolls to a stop at God’s feet.  I look up into His gentle, kind eyes.

“I’ve done it again, haven’t I Father?”, I say. (He nods) “I’ve messed up, and then made it all worse by beating myself up, instead of remembering that I am forgiven and loved. Thank you, that You came to set me free of this condemnation.  Remind me again, please, of who I am, and who You are.”

“You are, My precious child,” He responds, “so precious and valuable to Me that I was willing to give My life for you to be with me in eternity.  Never forget that.  I am more powerful than every evil in this world, and I love you.  I have already paid for every single one of your transgressions—past, present and future.  Instead of trying to fix yourself, just leave this all at my feet, every day, and follow me.

“Start again, today, right now.  Enjoy this day I have given you, and be at peace.  Know that as you walk with me, I am healing you day by day. I am exposing Satan’s lies and accusations and bringing you into increased truth in your life. So you can live as you were born to live:  connected to me, accepted by me, made perfect by me, and used by me to love those who cross your path.”

Under the heat of God’s truth-light, my snowball of condemnation melts away,

until all that remains is a little patch of dirt.  He reaches out with His foot and scuffs it away, and then His gaze meets mine.

“Where are your accusers?”, He asks.

“Gone,” I say.

He nods, and then responds. “Sin no longer has power over you.  I have broken that power. I have set you free from its hold.   Walk in that freedom.  Go and sin no more, remembering that I am right beside you every minute, protecting and guiding you in your journey.”

We share a smile. Then He throws His arm over my shoulder, and together we step back onto our path, talking and laughing as we stroll along.

Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. John 8:32

A small pool of dirty water in a parking lot, with melting snow adjacent.  Caption says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1

Catch & Release

4:21:16 SM Catch & ReleaseCatch and Release

by Lydia Floren

My friend Derek is really good at catching fish. He actually enters fishing contests (I didn’t even know there was such a thing) and wins. One time he won a truck—a new truck, mind you. In a fishing contest. Amazing. Now me? Not so much. I can literally count on one hand the number of fish I have caught in my whole life. (And not for lack of trying.)

Catch and Release

So frankly I have never quite understood the reason for catch and release rules – where you actually catch a fish and then throw it back in the water. This makes no sense. If I manage to hook a fish, by goodness I ought to be able to do whatever I want with it. (Not that I really know what to do with one when I catch it!) But apparently there are lots of people (like Derek) out there who actually catch enough fish that someone had to enact this “catch and release” rule, just to keep the fish population at a healthy level, so all of us other poor shmo’s might have a fighting chance of hooking our third or fourth lifetime fish.

My personal catch and release rule

But I have my own personal “catch and release” rule, that makes infinitely more sense to me. Here’s my logic: if I catch a fish, and I just leave it lying around – I don’t either cook it and eat it or put it in the freezer – pretty soon the whole house will start to stink. There are very few smells worse than the stench of rotting fish. My catch and release rule is very pragmatic:

If by some miracle you catch a fish, and aren’t going to do something with it, you better release it, so it doesn’t stink up the house.

Catching sin, releasing guilt

Lots of times, when I “catch” the truth that I have sinned, I let it hang around, stinking up my life with guilt and shame. Why? Maybe

  • Pride. I can’t believe that I could do – or did do – something like that. So I deny it.
  • Self-punishment. By some warped thought process, I think if I keep it around, and beat myself up enough, maybe that will make it OK.
  • Control. I am trying to fix it myself. I worry over it, trying to figure out how to make it go away. Instead of fixing it, it just sits there. Stinking.

God wants us to catch, and then release our sin – to be free of it – every day.

Today, ask God to show you where you have sinned, and then catch it:  Admit it to yourself and to Him. Choose to receive His forgiveness. Let Him take it – and you – off the hook.

And then release it. Let it go. Let go of guilt and shame, of regrets and should-have’s. Let go of the idea that you can make this right on your own. Let go of control, and let God lead you in how to be permanently rid of this sin-habit, so it doesn’t stink up your life.

God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. 1 John 1:9

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36