Forgiving Ourselves

happy women hugging

Year B Pentecost 11 – 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2; John 6:35, 41-51

David’s change of heart after the Bathsheba affair reveals itself in this week’s reading. He was willing to forgive a seditious son that subtly overthrew the kingdom. He was willing to extend mercy for an act normally punishable by death.

The psalm pairs nicely with the story. It plays off the delicate theme that David was struggling to forgive himself. Appealing for divine mercy, we beg for God’s acceptance. How often, however, are we willing to embrace that love for ourselves?

Ephesians straightforwardly addresses issues of relationships. Forgiveness is a key formula to the Church’s success. Being willing to take responsibility for our own actions individually and collectively is imperative. That includes forgiving ourselves as well as others.

Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is the stabilising balance between “beating ourselves up” and arrogantly ignoring the effects of our behaviour. His words are life-giving and fulfilling. We can survive inappropriate behaviour when we feast on God’s words.


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Published by St Johns Papatoetoe

Presbyterian Church, Hunters Corner, Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand belonging to Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ).

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