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.