By Brook Ault
Let’s face it, we all mess up and fall short of God’s glory. Trust me, I know exactly what this looks like. Maybe we’ve let someone we care about down or stayed out too late with friends and slept through a super important group presentation. Or maybe we talked negatively about someone behind their back or threw somebody under the bus to save our own reputation. No matter what it may be, the truth is, we aren’t perfect.
Although God is calling us to resemble him and encourages us to be kind and loving individuals, we are also human. God doesn’t love us because we deserve his love or because we are loyal servants. He does not love for who we are or what we have done but rather because of who he is. Think back to a time when you did something that infuriated your parents. Growing up, I unfortunately had a lot of these little moments. When I was younger and bed time was still a very real concept, I would always tip toe to the tv area in the middle of the night where my brother and I would stay up until midnight binge watching Scooby Doo, mindlessly munching on hot Cheetos, and drinking an unhealthy amount of cherry coke. It was all fun and games until my parents found my brother and I sprayed on the cotch couch at 6 o’clock in the morning, covered in Cheeto dust and surrounded by enough empty coke cans for 5 people.
Boy, were my parents furious that we had disobeyed the bedtime rules! The remote was hidden and out went the coke and Cheetos. (This was a very rough time for 12 year old Brook). However, even though they were pretty disappointed with my brother and I’s actions, my parents continued to love us unconditionally and eventually, we were forgiven and regained our privileges.
Just like our parents, God loves us unconditionally. He won’t turn away from us or disown us when we trip up. Instead, God forgives us and calls us to forgive others. Colossians 3:13 says “Bear with Each other and forgive one another if you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the lord forgave you.”
Sometimes, it can be hard to get past the things we’ve done or the things that have been done to us in the past. Unfortunately, I’ve made bigger mistakes in my life than sacrificing sleep for hot Cheetos. And for the longest time, these mistakes hindered my relationship with Christ because I wasn’t convinced that God would want anything to do with me. However, God is reminding me the importance of forgiving myself every day.
When we make mistakes, we can often be tempted to lose courage and turn away from our faith, however, if you are feeling that way today, I encourage you to repent, forgive yourself, and turn to God for strength and motivation to stay on the right path.