Lately I have been thinking about how little I focus on the 2nd Person of the Trinity. Honestly it feels weird for me even to reference God as individual parts: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The thing is when I think of God I normally think of Him as Father. I understand in my head that even when I am interacting with Him daily it is the third part of the Trinity who I am interacting with (Holy Spirit), but in my heart to me He is still–Father. But lately I’ve been thinking about Jesus and I’ve been re-reading the book of John to focus more on Him and his life while here on earth.
Recently, I was told to “be kind to myself”. I have heard that I can be hard on myself and therefore hard on others, but I will be honest and say that there is still a part of me that doubts this. Am I really too hard on myself? Are my expectations really too high? Because they seem pretty realistic to me. Except I and others usually fall short of them. But when she said to “be kind to myself” there was a realization that dawned on me. There was an awareness of a burden I was carrying. One I seem to always carry w/o knowing it.
The burden of perfectionism and performance-based faith.
She asked me what Jesus told the woman who committed adultery (John 8) and the first thing that came to my mind was “Go and sin no more”. But really the first thing He told her was “You are forgiven” (paraphrased from “Neither do I condemn you”). His focus was on forgiveness while mine was on the sin itself. Then she said that even in the Lord’s command to “Go and sin no more” it was less from a place of judgement and more from a place of his concern for the woman. When He looked at the woman, he did not see an adulterer; he saw a woman with a history of abuse and pain and trauma. Because let’s be honest, who escapes this life w/o experiencing abuse, pain and trauma? So He saw the whole of her and really He was telling her to not commit adultery again for her own sake.
Because it was an unhealthy form of escapism.
Because it was just a coping mechanism that was causing her even more pain than the pain that led her to the sin.
Of course God hates sin, but could it be His hatred for sin stems from His love for us? Could it be He understands that sin hurts us and He does not want to see us hurt?
It is with these revelations that I began to understand why I must be kind to myself. Because Jesus is kind. He is compassionate. And if I function as an unkind, compassionless person to myself, how can I have any hope of being kind to others? How can I have any hope of demonstrating the true purpose of the gospel?
To be forgiven.
And to sin no more.
Because it hurts us.
Gal 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”…