Why Do I Do These Things?
For reading & meditation - 1 John 1:1-10
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (v. 9)
We continue meditating on the principles that enable us to recover from the brokenness caused by the memory of some grievous sin. A second principle is this: Understand the major reason why you tend to brood on the past. People who brood on the past, and keep the memory of their sin alive, do so for several reasons. Let's take them one by one: (1) They are not sure that God has forgiven them. If you have this kind of doubt, it is really a denial. It is taking a verse, like the one before us today, and flinging it back into God's face, saying "I don't believe it." If you don't accept God's forgiveness, you will try to make your own atonement in feelings of guilt. Once you confess your sin, then, as far as God is concerned, that's the end of it. Believe that - and act upon it. It's the gospel truth! (2) They are in the grip of spiritual pride. You should be asking yourself, at some deep level of your mental and emotional life: How could I have ever done a thing like that? What this really amounts to is that you have too high an opinion of yourself. And that's about as bad as too low an opinion of yourself. (3) They have not forgiven themselves. It might help to stand in front of a mirror with your Bible open at the verse at the top of this page, reassure yourself that God has forgiven you, and say to yourself, by name: "---------, God has forgiven you - now I forgive you too!"
Gracious Father, although I understand many things, I fail so often to understand myself. Teach me more of what goes on deep inside me, so that, being more self-aware, I may become more God-aware. For Your own dear Name's sake. Amen.
For Further Study
1. Why can we forgive ourselves?
2. Forgive yourself today.