Confession and forgiveness

“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

-Psalm 32:5

Perhaps because my calendar of events has been cleared, some things have come to mind. Rather than rushing from one event to the next, I have settled into a routine that includes a little time for reflection and quiet. Some things have come to mind from the past – friendships and relationships. Embarrassment, hurt pride and guilt come in waves depending on the situation.

One thing they all have in common: a need for acceptance, pursuit of approval, a desire to be liked and loved.

And that’s where I was stuck. Examination. Observation. Guilt. Trying to figure out where I went wrong and how to do things differently… but this need to be liked feels like a vacuum sucking in every situation and the hole I’m trying to fill is endless.

Lecrae says, “If you live for their acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.”

But the questions still spin:

Why this person didn’t like me. What I did wrong in this situation. Is it my fault that this friendship or relationship failed or we’ve grown apart?

But today it became clear. God showed me I’ve been asking the wrong questions. We should be asking:

“Am I trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people?” (Galatians 1:10)

If relationships fail because we are seeking to please God and those relationships would not…

we need to let them go.

If we followed God to this place and those people have not chosen not to join us, we need to let them go.

If people along the way don’t like us because we are trying to please God, we need to let them go.

I’m not saying that I’ve handled every relationship, friendship, or situation perfectly, because I definitely have not. I have been a mess and left pieces of my mess with others. I wish this were not the case, but it is.

And, others have left some of their mess with me.

That’s why we need to give and receive forgiveness from others but most importantly from God.

And that’s what I’ve been missing…

Confessing my mistakes to God and asking Him for forgiveness. And allowing Him to forgive me. Accepting His gift of forgiveness. And trusting He’s big enough to heal me and those who may have been hurt by me.

Thank you Jesus for your love and forgiveness. May we not seek the approval of people, but of You first.

**I know not everyone has been able to stay safer at home and take time to reflect and be still. Many people have had to continue on. I just wanted to say thank you for your sacrifice. I have struggled with that as well. The fact that I get to stay home with my family in a safe place. But, God has reminded me that He sees and knows all. He sees each of our struggles and our needs and He is big enough to take care of each of us. At the same time, He has given each of us the ability to be His hands and feet. We can each do our part to help one person today. I recently read a biography of Mother Teresa. I love what she said…

“I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time – just one, one, one. So you begin. I began – I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up forty-two thousand….The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community. Just begin – one, one, one.” I’m praying God will show us how to love one person today. And I’m praying for the essential workers around the world – seen and unseen. I’m praying for the people who don’t feel safer at home. I’m praying for those struggling with loneliness. Jesus loves you. I hope you feel that today. I pray someone reaches out to you today or you reach out to someone. We’re here. Let’s share our struggles, needs, joy and gifts.