Women who are perfectionists, even for the most noble of reasons, that of pleasing God, can often fall into discouragement and even depression because they have a hard time forgiving themselves for mistakes made. I know. I was one of them. We have a checklist each day. We check it twice. We check it more than twice. How about all day long? We have our daily checklist of what the perfect woman, wife, mother, serving member of a church, and/or good neighbor is, and when we slip up….. Well, if they could invent an invisible flog only to be felt by ourselves, I think we would be one of the first ones to run out and purchase one.
Not being able to forgive oneself for mistakes can literally cripple your joy and make life miserable. The simple truth is, my dear daughters in Christ, WE CAN’T! That’s what Christ’s sacrifice is for. We’re simply not big enough or powerful enough to do it. ALL have sinned. We ALL are growing. We’re God’s children, and when we put forth our best effort, though not perfect, God is pleased. Remember the verse “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” I might add here, “not who are diligently perfect in everything.” Somehow, we tend to forget that verse and concentrate on our flaws and imperfections.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
~ Hebrews 11:6
I’d like to consider my recent post on Abraham’s wife Sarah. She was faithful enough to be written in the Hall of Fame in the faith chapter in Hebrews 11, considered a mother of faith, even though she suffered from many human weaknesses.
Yes, we can forget that it is faith in God’s ability to forgive that frees us from guilt. When Passover season comes around, many women who constantly question their worth, also tend to come to the Passover services with their heads hanging down, feeling that we have too much baggage to be forgiven. God, however, says otherwise. Passover is a time to remember that He, the Creator of all living, Creator of the entire universe is looking down on us with eyes that seek to willingly forgive us. If we come to Him with a humble attitude He is quick to praise us for jobs well done.
I have a feeling that David had this same propensity to be a perfectionist, to flog himself for every wrong thought. When David wrote Psalms 51, I think he probably felt as we do at times. We too need to have God restore us to the joy of His salvation. Let’s look at the words of David:
“Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. RESTORE unto me the JOY of thy salvation. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”
Ahhhh. I love that Psalm. I meditate on it when I catch myself in the middle of flogging myself mentally. I stop and remember these words and instead of beating myself up, go to God in prayer. This helps to free us from the bondage we put ourselves under. God is the only one who can forgive our sins, and He is much greater and more powerful than you or I, and He willingly with gladness will give us grace in time of need if we’re repentant and our hearts are desiring to please Him.
Yes, the Passover is a solemn time, but it is also a joyous time. He has given us eternal life willingly. He didn’t have to. He deeply desires to forgive us to give us hope and give us peace and joy.
Let’s look at the very Passover service Christ performed before He gave Himself on His own accord for us at His crucifixion. He reminds us of the peace that He desires to give us.
Here are the some of the words that He wanted to leave with us right before his death…..
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”
~ John 14:27-28
Yes, the Father indeed greater and bigger than our capabilities and willingly gave His Son to be our intercessor. Our Father, the great and powerful Almighty God is willing and able to forgive….even when we can’t. Let’s remember this during this Holy Day season. It is a season of thankfulness, a season of praise to the great God who loves us so much and deeply desires a relationship with us.
Yes, when we can’t forgive ourselves. Don’t worry. God can. Be joyful for His perpetual grace!
Prayer: “Thank you Father for the continual grace you bestow on your children. I know that I’m imperfect, but you are perfect. I thank You for willingly giving Your Son as a sacrifice that washes us clean and takes our sin away from us as far as east is from the west. Help us to truly come to believe that, and help us to embrace it. Help us to remember that you promise to give us peace, a peace that the world cannot know. We stand on your promises, dear God. Help this day to be a day of joy and peace because of the great sacrifice we have in your Son that we are especially reminded of this time of year. Help us to hold that promise close to our hearts as we walk with you each and every day throughout the year. We thank you. We love and praise you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.”
Please see our booklet, Holidays or Holydays: Does It Matter Which Day We Observe?