Everyone of us makes mistakes, we are after all human. Wise people learn from their mistakes and quickly forgive the mistakes of both themselves and others, as they know that to not forgive them poisons their own inner happiness.
We cannot truly judge mistakes and this is one reason why Jesus told us not to judge others unless we are willing to be judged.
Sadly some people deliberately go against this teaching and try to impose guilt and shame onto others or in some cases themselves. They forget that making a mistake does not make you a bad person and use labels like “sinner”. The word that sin comes from is actually an ancient archery term for “missing the mark”. When the person shooting the arrow missed the target it was their signal to realign and try again. It is sad and wrong that many today use the word as a label of condemnation.
We are all works in progress and it would be a much happier world if we all had signs on us that read ” This person is currently being developed, thank you for your patience.” I know, this all sounds very simplistic. When we are hurt it seems natural to react impulsively with anger, blame and then to sometimes impose guilt and shame on each other yet in the process of doing this we destroy relationships, sometimes forever and only increase the suffering, prolonging it and creating hell for all involved including the innocent bystanders who are frequently one’s children.
A deep sense of guilt has destroyed so many lives. People feel unworthy of forgiveness. Yet the message of Jesus in the bible is one of love and forgiveness. If he can forgive us, surely we too can forgive. It sounds easy, often it is far from that but it is worth the effort. It allows you to move on, to grow and to teach others from a place of new understanding. It can lead to new awareness and empathy and give insight into how it feels to walk in another’s shoes. It can also renew and create greater love, caring and acceptance.
A very old prayer always comes to me when I face these tough times, it says…
GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS,
I CANNOT CHANGE.
COURAGE TO CHANGE,
THE THINGS I CAN
AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
I would like to add…
And the ability to forgive and move on TO DO BETTER NEXT TIME!