We have just come to the end of easter celebrations and to me, it was an exceptional one, considering the fact that I got to understand in deeper, the meaning of “old rugged cross” and the frustrations, shame and pain one underwent through while on that rugged cross. I tell you the roman government was worse than the icc. I know some churches have comprehensively covered the story of jesus. That is, the events that went on from the time of his triumphant entry into Jerusalem upto his crusifiction. Jesus crusifiction is one that leaves me with a tonned heart, especially from the description of how the “old rugged cross” was. Now through the study, You may have heard of a desciple, simon peter.
He used to brag about his love for Jesus and even promised Jesus that he will never deny him but will always follow Him. later on Peter denied Jesus 3 times! Events that followed left Jesus crucified and he died a shameful death on the cross.
PAUSE: For a moment I want you to put yourself in Peter’s boots. Imagine how terrible he must have felt that night! He must have been ashamed of himself and thought he deserved some form of severe punishment. What he did was really not cool especially considering how much Jesus had loved and believed in him. When Jesus called him, he used to be a struggling fisherman, before he knew it, Jesus turned his life around, soon he became famous in Israel and one day he even found himself walking on water, healing the sick etc yet when tables turned around and Jesus needed his support, he blatantly denied him three times.
Well, You may think this has nothing to do with you and me but it does. Whatever you did that you can’t forgive yourself can’t be any worse than denying the Son of God not once but three times! You’d expect that when Jesus resurrected, He would have ostracized Peter and given him a one way ticket to hell. Yet when Jesus resurrected the very first person He asked for was Peter! Jesus later on told Peter that He was the rock on which The Church would be built on. The lesson I learnt from Peter’s situation was that no matter how hard I have messed up God WILL forgive me, all I need to do is to ask Him for forgiveness because Jesus paid the price.
We’ve all done embarrassing things, made pesky mistakes even monumental ones that led to a tragedy or disaster of some sort. Mistakes are inevitable. You may have invested your life’s savings to start a business that failed terribly and left you broke to the last cent. You may feel like you wasted your entire twenties in between trivial jobs that offered you no growth and you regret that at over 30 years you still haven’t built a solid career.
Maybe you spent years kissing “a frog” that never turned into a prince but instead the “frog” left you as a single mother, HIV positive or simply wasted your time and then went on to marry someone else. You may have aspired to be a doctor, an engineer, ballerina queen yet you’ve found yourself stuck in a cubicle doing some trivial job you really dislike.
You may have been raped, abused, abandoned, deceived and hurt, Or past experiences may have destroyed all your self-esteem and left you feeling unworthy, dirty, undeserving of love, cheap, unattractive, a loser, a failure and whatever else you imagine yourself to be.
PAUSE: First of all avoid blaming others but rather take responsibility for anything that you could have better handled. Then, I want to encourage you not to judge yourself too harshly. This is very vital because I’ve learnt that as human beings things will not always go the way we planned. As long as you are alive you’ll be rejected, disappointed, you’ll fail, make mistakes, disappoint others, be hurt or hurt others etc. That’s what life is about. It’s a journey and every setback, mistake or curve is a learning experience. As long as you are still alive you have an opportunity to improve one step at a time.
If you only knew all the skeletons in people’s closets, you’d realize that no one is perfect and you wont be too harsh on yourself. You really need to stop dwelling on the past and focus on the present and embark on opportunities that await you. Memories have a way of sticking in our minds, tormenting us and crippling us with fear and stagnation. Jesus paid the price for our mistakes and therefore if God forgives you, why can’t YOU forgive yourself? FORGIVE YOURSELF and realize that the outcome of your mistakes was never your intention.
Yes you messed up big time but be kind to yourself! Don’t beat yourself up over things that went wrong, just pull yourself together and get on with life already. Everything happens for a reason. Some of the worst events eventually turn out to be the most amazing, positive turning points in our lives even if they are not what you would have initially preferred. One day you’ll realize that you wouldn’t have been able to get to the place you desired if you hadn’t gone through what was initially a horrible and unbearable thing.
You are worth it! You don’t need to constantly play that horrible experience in your mind like a broken record because it is only in the present moment that we can actually make a difference. The past is long gone and too much time wasted in reliving the past can be detrimental to our present .Start afresh, renew your mind, forgive yourself because it’s not the end of the world and God will certainly work out all things for good for those that love him. You won’t achieve anything by going over your past mistakes with a fine comb.
Remember if it didn’t kill you, then it will make you stronger.
Be kind to yourself.
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