In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus talks about removing the beam from your own eye before addressing the splinter in your brother’s eye. For our first reading, we begin St. Paul’s first Letter to Timothy.
“I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.” Notice the two things at play here: St. Paul cops to his sins, but he also cuts himself a break because he was acting out of ignorance. To do both things is a grace.
I talk to a lot of people who struggle with forgiving themselves for past sins. They get mired in regret and can’t stop living in the past. In the vast majority of the cases, they were living in ignorance. They didn’t know and/or understand God’s ways and God’s will. That was certainly the case with me. If that’s you, give yourself a break. Chalk it up to your ignorance and move forward. God understands. And since you’re ignorant no more, you can spend your energies on more constructive things – like building up the Kingdom of God.
Father, you know that we have sinned from our ignorance. Help us to forgive ourselves as you forgive us, and be about the business of sharing your love and grace. Amen.
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