“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who set before Him endured the cross scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

God has unfolded so many different lessons to me from these two verses but one in particular released me from weight that I didn’t even realize I was carrying. I think we humans are extra hard on ourselves. The concepts of God’s grace often eludes us. I have thought quite a bit on things that keep us stuck in life. Things that hinder us from moving forward.

I remember a time when our springer🐶 spaniel decided to buck the rules of our house and make our leather recliner her place of rest. I was in the adjoining room and heard a wimper. I walked into the living area to find the recliner tipped back and my dog’s hind feet as well as half of her torso caught in the opening of the chair. She wasn’t physically hurt but she was most certainly STUCK😬! Her front paws rested comfortably while her hind legs touched the floor. She was sandwiched in! I called🗣for her to jump out! She just stared at me with those big brown eyes🐶! I told her (sorry, I talk to my animals like they understand and I really think they do- yes, we are one of “those” families!) to “spring,” after all she is a springer spaniel!! I even demonstrated to her how to jump! “You can do this, Coco! Just spring! Everything about you knows how to get out of that situation!! Your whole identity is wrapped around being a springer spaniel, indicating you CAN spring yourself right out of there! JUMP!”  That’s all the encouragement that was needed! She started pushing those hinds legs into gear and propelled herself right out of that chair. Insert party time with your springer!!

I honestly think that there are a lot of things that can keep us stuck, but today I was thinking about how our past sin, maybe our present iniquity or someone else’s sin can hinder us from growing in our faith and living in His fullness.

What past transgression are we still holding on to and letting it make us feel like we are failures🤔. We can’t seem to get beyond it and maybe someone likes to remind us of it or keep us under its label. Can be tough, huh? We know in our hearts that Jesus has ✝️forgiven✝️ us but why don’t we feel it? Might I suggest something? As I just said, I don’t think we struggle so much in believing God has forgiven us. We are good with the eternal forgiveness thing. We know and believe that every sin (both past and present) is paid for but the earthly, forgiveness thing….well, that’s a bit more difficult. The earthly forgiveness thing challenges us to forgive ourselves just as He has forgiven us. Hmmm, 🤔that is a bit harder. We know He calls us to forgive others and there is no number as to how many times we are to forgive the same person. But do we ever think that we are to forgive ourselves like that as well? Sometimes, I wonder if it is hard for us to forgive others because we simply don’t even know how to forgive ourselves?🤔

The times others have forgiven me, I have felt an elation😁, a gratitude👏🏻, a weight lifted! My negative emotions including fears and self condemnation are significantly less🙌🏻🙌🏻!  Do we have that same experience when we forgive ourselves? Have we truly released ourselves from whatever it is or do we still feel stuck and under the weight of its oppression? We live under the title of failure rather than under the 👉🏻identity of overcomer👈🏻!

I often think trusting in the forgiveness He offers that allows for us to be with Him eternally is somewhat easy. It simply requires that we believe Him for that promise. It doesn’t require much of us other than to acknowledge Him as Savior, ask for forgiveness and  accept this blessing of grace through faith! A huge 🎁gift🎁, indeed! But the earthly, here and now forgiveness, requires us to truly make peace with our past and not allow others to hold us back. It requires a 👉🏻deep belief in God and His Word and a working of that out in our souls!👈🏻 It requires FAITH for the right now! When we refuse to receive His mercy and grace for our now,  we minimize the work on the ✝️cross✝️ and we are residing in our old self mentality before salvation and surrender.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

If we are still living predominately under the yoke of the old nature and we are not challenging our conscience that screams “guilty” over something already forgive, then we are going to feel the need to 🙇🏻‍♀️self-punish🙇🏻‍♀️. The great😈 accuser loves this because it keeps us enslaved to the past and paralyzed in the present. It is as if we believe that there is something more that needs to happen to punish ourselves for what we have done or how we have “failed.”

It is that pattern and old way of thinking that we had before we gave our lives to Christ. When we don’t let His forgiveness run through our veins then we will often self loathe and seek to self punish because the burden of our iniquities weighs heavily on our hearts.  We aren’t accepting the work of the ✝️cross✝️ towards our current crisis. We are saying something else must be done or maybe we think we must have someone else’s validation for us to receive and walk in forgiveness.🤔🤔🤔

What Jesus did on the cross was not only for us to be able to receive His forgiveness but that through this incredible act of ❤️love❤️we could forgive ourselves! In saying that, there  absolutely may be a need for us to apologize to someone if we have done something that needs this sort of action, but our ability to move forward in freedom is not dependent on any human or any circumstance! It is only the work of Jesus Christ in our hearts that we truly need to be free and move forward.🤗🤗🤗🤗

I also wonder how often we are carrying the weight of the sins of others as if they are ours; or maybe our fault? Sometimes, in an effort for people to not own their own junk they will seek to blame others for the way they feel. I heard a famous author once say that “there is an expiration date on blaming your parents…. the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” Like myself, it may not be your parents, but maybe you are blaming someone else or maybe they are blaming you. We are👉🏻 NEVER 👈🏻to be someone else’s “sin bearer.” There is only 👉🏻ONE 👈🏻that took that role, defeated darkness and removed shame!  Don’t you just ❤️LOVE ❤️HIM!?!?! Everyone has to own their own stuff. We should always own what we have done, but we should not allow excessive blaming on ourselves from others in an attempt for them to not do their own work. If we have done something, we ask for forgiveness and should seek to help reconcile the situation, but by no means do we carry the responsibility for someone else’s sin in an effort for them to not have to own it themselves.

Let us not stay stuck in self hate. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing and after all if that is what Jesus✝️Christ is most known for…if that is what He came to give and represent, then shouldn’t we model the grace-filled and free life of one forgiven?  It is my hope that we not only give it freely but that we accept it ourselves abundantly.🤗Have a wonderful day and know that I am cheering you on!!!❤️☀️❤️

In His Love and Grace~



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