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Christ set us free from the law of sin and death

A church member whom I respect brought to my attention an aspect of the Christian life that many people struggle with.

Though we are called to forgive others and are called to seek forgiveness from God, we often have a difficult time forgiving ourselves.

When we let God down, we repent and seek His forgiveness for our failure or the disappointment we may cause through our times of faltering in our faith. When others let us down, after we push through the hurt, the disappointment or sometimes the anger, we are then to forgive them as God forgives us through Christ.

However, different expectations or “rules” if you will apply. With God, we seek His forgiveness and it is not biblically defined as being given to us until we ask for it.

We turn to God and seek his forgiveness. In terms of forgiving others, we are challenged to forgive even if the other person or party is not sorry. We have to give the forgiveness whether it is petitioned or not.

In either case through forgiveness, whether given by God or given by us to others or given by others to us, needs to be accepted. Without the acceptance the burden of guilt is still there. God forgives us, but we are bound by our guilt if we do not accept and believe that forgiveness.

When others forgive us, if we do not accept it, we are once again holding on to our guilt. When others refuse to accept our forgiveness, this is not our problem (that’s harsh, but truthful).

All of this brings me to our refusal to forgive ourselves. When we disappoint or let ourselves down and refuse to let go of it.

When the Apostle Paul was writing to the church in Rome directing them to accept the freedom they have in Christ. That they are released from sin, death and condemnation. Romans 8:1-2 read as follows:

1. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2. because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

God has set us free. There should be no condemnation. God has no longer condemned us, but instead forgiven us and released us. God lets go of sin and death. The all-powerful God, full of all authority, wisdom, and the ability to literally hold on to something “forever”, let’s go.

Are we better than God? Is it our right or entitlement to hold a grudge against ourselves for failing ourselves?

Learning to let go is difficult. But if our eternal God can forgive us, then who are we to not forgive ourselves. Take time to look at what you are holding on to. Look at what you have not let go of.

Whatever it is you are holding against yourself, ask God to help you let go of it.

REV. BARRY VASSAR can be reached at fitzgeraldmemorial@gmail.com.