"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Into the Woods: Cleaning Up the Mess

"Just as our only recourse to falling down is getting up, our only recourse to hurting others is to acknowledge what we've done and clean up the mess.  This is known as making amends, a simple yet enormous act of integrity that restores trust, and trust, afterall, is the soil that holds the roots of humankind." --Mark Nepo

....Because if you don't, this is what your life will eventually look like.....

That horizontal tree is blocking the path we made through the woods many years ago.  There are other trees that have fallen and are hung up in healthy trees.  Besides being an eyesore, it's dangerous to try to walk through there.

When we fail to make amends our lives become like our woods.  Guilt begins to eat away at our peace of mind and affects our self-worth.  We become "dangerous" to ourselves and others because we react negatively to anything that causes us to feel our guilt.  The powerlessness we feel can lead us into addictions or rash actions.

Even if you feel you've not done anything on purpose to hurt another, you may have done so unintentionally by your neglect or in some other way feel responsible.  It may only be wishful thinking that this person who has hurt you gets what he deserves, and when he does, you feel guilty for having thought the thoughts.  None of us is immune from the need to make amends at some point in our lives because none of us is perfect.

Sometimes just acknowledging our mistakes to ourselves is all we can do.  There may be no way to make amends to the other person.  But we must take the added step of "cleaning up the mess" by forgiving ourselves.  We may have already asked for God's forgiveness and feel we've received it, but unless you forgive yourself you will make a mockery of God's forgiveness.  This song played a huge part in helping me take this added step of forgiving myself for the things God had already forgiven me for but still lay across my path of peace....
....And once you are freed from the guilt, your life, which is now "hid in Christ", can once again be accessible like the path through our woods....

Father, Christ paid for our sin so that our consciences could be cleansed of all guilt because otherwise You knew we would continue to hide from You in the garden we call life.  Thank you for giving me Your unbounded, boundless grace to heal the separation that existed between You and me.

Scripture: Hebrews 9:13-14 (NRSV)
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

Take action: Why do I need a clear conscience?

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