Reflection by Scott Stoner
As people of faith, our desire and capacity to forgive ourselves is grounded in God’s love and forgiveness for us. We can practice greater acceptance and forgiveness of ourselves, as well, because we know that God fully loves and forgives us. As the words from 2 Corinthians state, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God.”
Have you ever felt uncomfortable receiving a gift from someone? Maybe the gift was an expression of thanks for a favor you did and you felt the gift was far more than necessary. Or you may have felt that what you did was not really deserving of a gift. It can feel very awkward trying to graciously receive a gift that we don’t feel we deserve.
We may feel something similar when it comes to receiving the gift of God’s forgiveness. We may feel like we don’t really deserve to be loved or forgiven by God. This thinking creates a self-defeating loop because if we struggle to love and forgive ourselves, it is hard for us to receive others’, including God’s, love and forgiveness.
Making It Personal: Has there ever been a time in your life when you struggled to receive and truly feel God’s love and forgiveness? Are you experiencing this in any way in your life now? Examine your response to the passage from 2 Corinthians: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” How might this passage help you more fully receive God’s forgiveness?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.