Why Can't I Forgive Myself? Reason #4


Take off whatever mask you are wearing and let everyone see your true identity – Child of God, perfectly loved and accepted.

I’m Not Who You Say I Am

We like to tell old stories, especially at a family gathering. They usually start with, “Do you remember when…” Old stories are wonderful to share. And it is healthy for us to look back and see where we’ve come from.

Most of us only venture back to the past from time to time. There are others, however, who never get out of the past. They are stuck there. Time has marched on, yet in their minds, time stopped for them at some significant event that happened long ago. Have you met people like that?

If you pay attention, you’ll see this with many ex-athletes. In their minds, they are still those elite athletes who dazzled fans with their skills and talents and “super-human” abilities. They have a hard time moving past their glory years.

Those who say they can’t forgive themselves are somewhat like these ex-athletes. Except they have allowed the sins of their past to define who they are today. Rather than seeing themselves through God’s act of grace toward them, they see themselves in light of their sins.

My friend, John Lynch, says “When I wear a mask, the only thing that gets loved is the mask, not the real me.” We don’t go around broadcasting what we perceive as our identity. No one knows if we are carrying the label of adulterer, or cheater, or addict. We keep it secret because we are scared to death of how people will react if they find out the “truth.”

But you can’t hide behind a mask with God. He knows and it doesn’t change what he thinks about you and what he has recreated you to be. The Gospel changes who you are. Here is the good news. Your identity changed the moment you trusted Jesus Christ. You are brand new and bear the name, “Child of God." Take off whatever mask you are wearing and let everyone see your true identity – Child of God, perfectly loved and accepted.

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:15, 16).

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