Sometimes forgiving other people is easier than forgiving ourselves.
Jesus told a parable about a young man who ran off with his inheritance, even before his father had died. When he runs out of money, he longs to eat the scraps given to the pigs. His pride got in the way of reconciling with his father and his older brother.
The parable ends with the older brother, the one who remained faithful to his father, outside the party that welcomed the younger brother home. The pride of the older brother got in the way of his enjoying this feast.
Pride by both brothers kept them from enjoying the fullness of life offered to them by their loving and generous father. When we harbor a grudge against someone, even against ourselves, we harm ourselves. People really do worry themselves sick. Real physical healing can begin or accelerate when we can forgive and acknowledge that God knows all about us and loves us anyway.
I will have more to say about Luke 15:1-3 & 11-32 and forgiving ourselves at 8:15 AM and 10:00 AM on Sunday March 18th, at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
A Tip for Parents
Did you know that God had Moses make a bronze snake and put it on a pole where everyone could see it?
The people had complained that God was leading them through a dry wilderness. So God had sent snakes to bite them (Numbers 21:4-9). When they had recognized that complaining was wrong, God told them too look at the bronze snake Moses made and they were healed of snake bites.
God showed that good parents sometimes must discipline children to make a strong reminder of how we need to treat one another.