To err is human, to forgive divine
All people commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and people are acting in a godlike (divine) way when they forgive. This saying is from “An Essay on Criticism,” by Alexander Pope.
I think as a man, one of the hardest things to do is to admit it when I am wrong. I guess I (we) think that to admit I am wrong is to admit failure and to admit failure is not an option that any of us feel comfortable with.
As least that is what I think I was taught growing up—the goal in life is to be right. Yet knowing that, I always felt uncomfortable with that position. Bob Dylan said in a song that…”You are right from your side and I am right from mine—we are both just one to many mornings and a thousand miles behind.” As I have matured I have come to the conclusion that communication coupled with understanding is really a miracle.
I remember reading a Jaimie Buckingham book about the Holy Spirit and communication that seems to fit this thought train. It is after all the Holy Spirit that convicts us of our sin, etc. When we do something to hurt any person’s feelings, it is the quickening of the Holy Spirit that lets us know that we need to repent and ask forgiveness.
This was true during the early years of my marriage to Sandi. I would do something stupid, and at first it would take a day to admit I was wrong and apologize. As I grew in the spirit, that process only took a half a day—then a couple of hours and then within the hour. I will have to admit that I have probably lost some ground in this area.
But life is cyclical isn’t it. We do get to go through some of the same things a couple of times if we didn’t really get it the first time around.
To the point: It is hard for me in this blog or in my private journal to admit that I have made mistakes in my life and am sometimes (even now) a whiner. I don’t like whiners—or should I say I don’t like whiney behaviour. Poor old me and all of that—having what the southerners call a “pity party”.
But I am human and embody all that that implies.
Somehow I think all of what we needlessly seem to go through in life and in turn try to figure out is us living out of or under our shame. What I seemed to see in a flash this morning as I lisetened to Jonathon Helser sing in Wilkesboro was that ever since Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we have been living with the knowledge that we are sinners and impure vessels prone to bad thoughts, bad deeds and all the rest. We are always, at some level, aware of the shame we were born into.
Shame to me means living in the awareness or consciousness of our pitiful state—with all of our bad thougths, ambitions and motives in front of us on a hourly basis. This sense of shame keeps us from really accepting the love that God has for us—that He loved us so much He sent His Son to die for us—for our life to be lived in abundant thankfullness because of this.
The Israelites made sacrifice for sin but could never do away with the remembrance of it. Christ sacrificed His life so that we would not have to live in that state—kind of dirty, kind of clean. All of this is discussed in Hebrews 10.
So the question is this: if God doesn’t remember my sins, why do I? If I am accpeted in the beloved, why do I have such a hard time accepting myself—and ergo admiting when I am wrong and moving on with life.
This whole thing may be tied into another thought I had this morning as well: when did I stop serving Jesus and start serving the church—a man made interpretation of what the body of Christ is supposed to look like.
This is me in process—I think somewhere in the 5th inning—trying to get into a better place with who I am without the thought of serving someone else’s vision of what that should look like. Today is a good day—one of clarity and clouds. The earth is beinning to warm after a long winter and the time of planting seeds is almost upon us.
Enjoy your ride today.