Sunday, September 15, 2013

Repentance and Forgiveness

The theme at church this morning was repentance and forgiveness.  I'm not always sure how to respond to that particular theme.  I'm told that I need to believe in Jesus to be saved.  Do I truly believe in Jesus?  How do I know that Christianity is even true?  And how do I repent?  Can I truly change and eliminate every flaw from my life?  Does God even change people?  If so, then where has he been in my life?  I can think of plenty of times in my life when I wished that I could feel God's nearness, but what I felt instead was fear.  Why hasn't God taken away my fear of people? 

I'm not entirely sure what I believe right now, but I do think that there are simple steps that I can take each day.  I can identify things that I have thought and have done that strike me as wrong.  I can ask God to forgive me, and for the strength to have better thoughts and deeds.  And maybe, as I recognize my own flaws, I can become more understanding and charitable when it comes to my view of others. 

But it's a struggle.  I no longer impose on myself a standard of absolute perfection.  But I do have thoughts that, well, I don't think are particularly healthy for me----thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness of others, for example. 

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