All, from the least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
I was an extremely sensitive little girl when it came to the errors of my ways. Though I was no more or less innocent than most children, I took even the gentlest reprimand to heart. In these instances, though the adult who corrected me had quickly forgotten whatever I’d done, my guilt remained with me. All of this was my own doing by the way. Neither of my parents ever nagged or belittled my siblings and me. Though a teacher may have given me reason to question my ability to be forgiven on rare occasion, this wasn’t the norm. Eventually, I understood, at least mentally, that those who love us don’t hold grudges against us. Still, it is my heart’s propensity to carry guilt unnecessarily. Much to my dismay, this is true to some extent even today.
This is the reason I find great consolation in the passage above from Jeremiah and in Jesus’ numerous parables which address forgiveness. With every word, we’re assured of God’s absolute love and God’s absolute inability to be separated from any one of us. Though we may run away and bury our heads in the sand, God remains at our sides. Though we may refuse to look in God’s direction, God is with us. Fortunately for me and for us all, we can never impose enough guilt upon ourselves to repel God’s love.
If God is this forgiving of us, isn’t it time to forgive ourselves? Yes, I wrote that line and, yes, I will do my best to heed its every word!
Loving God, help us to face our guilt and to let it go. Only then will our hands be free to take hold of your hand and our hearts be free to embrace your love.
©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved