What if we could admit failure? What if we could all admit that in one way or another, we were in the wrong? What if today we could practice humility? What if today we could practice forgiveness? What if we could look into our hearts and own up to the fact that we are no where near, nor have we ever been anywhere near perfect? What if we could accept the fact that that is ok? Would life look differently if we didn’t try to wear the mask of perfection? Would we have more love in our life? Would we have less hate? If we let go of the things we are holding onto would we feel scared? Or would we feel free? Do you ever wonder why you are still holding onto something? Does holding onto a grudge give you meaning and purpose? Or is it just a way of saving face? Do we hold grudges because we think that we are entitled to? Do we deserve an apology? Is this whole thing about what someone owes us? Don’t we owe everything to God? Doesn’t he pardon us day after day, mistake after mistake? If so, what if we lived like him.
Forgiveness is the struggle of many, especially Christians; which is sad, because we receive it every single day of our lives. “Yes, I’ll have some of that Lord! Thank you for your sacrifice” we say to the Lord, to whom we owe our entire lives, then our brother approaches us, who owes us a couple of pennies and we say, “NO, I won’t give it away. Your sins against me have cost way too much. HIS grace is sufficient for me, but my grace is not sufficient for you.” Sometimes we even say this to ourselves. That doesn’t sound right at all does it? So why do we continue to hold onto things? Is it our perfection complex?
For me, I am trying to be ok with the fact that I am not perfect. I have huge pride issues in my life which makes it very difficult for me to admit failure. Even saying I have pride issues is hard. But it’s true. And I have realized that when I am honest with myself and others, I feel lighter. It’s like this burden of supposed perfection is lifted and I can move and walk again. It’s actually amazing. But it’s not easy. Every time I get close to admitting something about myself or my past, I find myself re-wording things and changing them to sound more like the Brittany I want to be and less like the Brittany I am. I try to create this infallible, perfect persona. I literally stress out about the fact that people might see my mistakes. As a people pleaser, I will tell people what they want to hear and I have realized that it makes me a liar. I have lied to hide truths. I have misled people to believe that I am something I am not. And I want to be done doing that. It’s a process, but I know it will be worth it.
I have seen first hand what pride can do and no amount of saving face is worth that cost.
Pride separates families. Pride destroys your character. Pride hurts the people you care about most. Pride can find anything good and ruin it. Pride steals from you. Pride becomes a habit. Pride gets stuck in your head. Ultimately, pride makes a mess only humility can clean up.
And that’s where it starts. We must come humbly before the Lord. We must come humbly before our brothers and sisters. We must forgive even when we aren’t asked to. Some people may never realize their mistakes. Or maybe their pride keeps them from repenting. But in the end, when you stand before the Lord, you will only have one person to answer for… yourself. You will be held accountable for your mistakes, not others. So make things right. Look at those things in your hands, the things you feel entitled to hold onto. Lay them down at the feet of Jesus. Look at the burdens on your back, the things you haven’t forgiven yourself for. Take them off. Lay them at the feet of Jesus. They are his. He bought and paid for them on the cross. As I head a pastor say once, “Stop stealing from Jesus.” Lay your pride down; He is the only one with the right to wear it. Lay your stones down; he is the only one with the right to throw them. Lay your burdens down; he is the only one with the right to carry them.
Find freedom in letting go.