Be Kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Click To TweetEphesians 4:32
Forgiveness is hard.
It is even harder when we do not forgive ourselves. Let’s review what the Bible says about forgiveness. In Ephesians 4:32 it says that we should be kind to others and forgive them for Christ has forgiven us. When you look at the verse there are a few words that we are going to explore.
First is the word “kind”.
How often are we kind to ourselves? In full disclosure I am the worst at this. For most of my life I have struggled with my weight. When my oldest daughter was born in 2010, I made the decision to make a change and started exercising and eating better. Over 10 years later and 130 plus pounds lost I still look in the mirror and am my own worst critic. Recently my wife said my prayer should be for God to let me see myself with His eyes. That was great council and speaks straight to the root concept of being kind to yourself.
The problem with being kind to yourself is that it is hard. Sometimes we may not even recognize that it is happening. We have all made bad choices and mistakes in life that led to results we did not desire. Dwelling on those areas can hold us back from moving forward and getting better as individuals. Without those mistakes I would not be the person that I am now and, in a position, to serve others in the pursuit of their personal best.
The second area of the verse to consider is “tender-hearted”.
Now that does not mean being a pushover. On the contrary the easiest way to think about it with the word compassionate. That is a big word which cannot be faked. You know when those in your life are being compassionate and when you are getting lip service. To forgive, one truly needs to have a heart of compassion, to honestly care about the individual(s) you are engaging with. I relate this to the team I worked with in the past. We built a strong group of people working across 4 states. As the leader of the team, I stand firm on the fact that the results we able to achieve was because we cared for each other immensely. I respected and cared for every team member at a personal level, and we had a culture of compassion that was real. To forgive is to have a heart full of compassion.
How does this verse impact personal finance? To move forward towards personal freedom, we must forgive ourselves for past mistakes. Being kind to ourselves is a key step. If we are constantly bashing ourselves or our partners on our financial journey nobody wins. Two steps forward and one step back is still progress. Having compassion is key as well. Budgeting and reaching goals is hard because mistakes will happen. If we have a heart full of compassion, we will recognize those mistakes as opportunities to build up instead of tear down. The beauty of this verse reminds us that no matter what happens in life we are forgiven by Christ so you can hold your head high as you move along your own personal journey.