The hardest person to forgive is myself. Admittedly, I’ve screwed up and a lot in my past, but I’m comfortable (as one can be in this situation) with that fact. That’s what I thought until resuming a running routine this past week in an area that I had frequented in a long past relationship. For those of you that have or do run, you have lots of time to your thoughts and I found this relationship coming up quite a bit. I was confused because I was certain I wasn’t missing it in any way, therefore I couldn’t see its importance, so I prayed. On the second run it became very apparent. While I’ve moved on, I still haven’t offered myself God’s forgiveness for all my misgivings in that relationship.
I have been saying that Christ’s death on the cross was not enough. Yes, not accepting God’s forgiveness is like taking a vial of Jesus’ blood and smearing it underfoot on the pavement. Sure, that was graphic but I’m sure now you get my point. My holding back forgiveness for my sin in that circumstance, while seeming innocuous, is a hideous sin in and of itself. While His blood was enough to cover everyone else’s sin, there is something extra I can do to cover my own.
Pride is the root of all sin. It is defined as any focus belonging to God that is redirected to man. A life that is supposed to be devoted to God, assuming that is man’s greatest good, cannot also be focused on the individual. That’s precisely the point behind Jesus’ saying that man cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). No other master can lead us on in the merciful sanctification process that God can and does. Instead, all other masters (people, money, possessions, status, etc.) lead us to focus on either the object or merely ourselves and that is falling short of the glory laid out for us by God. That is merely pride and we know it to be a thorny sin itself; it is death.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” — Ephesians 1:7–10
There is no limitation for what sin Jesus died. Jesus died to save us from all by sacrificing Himself once, for all. Moreover, it was God’s plan to use Christ’s death and resurrection to unite us all to Himself, so that we might be free to serve Him and Him alone. God is the greatest master there could ever be as what other master do you know to be full of love, mercy and grace (1 John 4:16, Romans 11:32, Romans 5:15)? We have been set free so that we might live and live freely, not shackled by the death of our pride. Instead, we enter into a life-giving bond-servitude in the house of God, gleaning from His banquet table until we receive our full inheritance from our Father.
Yes, the hardest person to forgive is myself. However, I must be able to forgive as I am merely promoting death throughout my limbs. I do not need to catalyze the effects of this earth and my sin. They both do a well enough job to keep my existence here but a vapor (James 4:14). However, I am not condemned by my rapacious pride. No, I am free from it and all else in this life. My God, full of love, mercy and grace has set me free so that I may worship Him and live a life unencumbered by sin’s suffocating weight. I have been set free, once and for all, by the labor of love of my Savior. Every moment I hold onto my past is a moment I could have the delight of thanking and loving my God, is wasted. I’m done with waste.