"Help! I Can't Forgive Myself"
Sermon shared by Marilyn Murphree
Summary: The forgiveness of Jesus is inclusive and applies to forgiving ourself for things we have done.
Audience: Believer adults
Should Peter risk it? What if Jesus didn’t REALLY mean it. What if I BLOW IT again? What if I MESS UP and say the wrong things? Peter might have been a little apprehensive about accepting the invitation. He thinks he has been disqualified.
When we are faced with the invitation to come to Jesus we often are afraid to accept it. The biggest obstacle to self-forgiveness may be the tendency to wallow in our own guilt. It’s not that we feel bad because we know we’ve done wrong but we draw those feelings up around us like a blanket and cover our heads. We refuse to push the stop button on our wailing just like Larry did at Lake Wobegone. According to one psychologist when we refuse to forgive ourselves it’s a “crazy form of penance.” Many people decide to punish themselves for the rest of their lives by feeling miserable day after day. The decision to feel miserable for the rest of your life can have tragic consequences because it affects everyone around you.
Peter could have refused the invitation to breakfast. He could have said, “I’m going to stay right here. I’m not going to risk it.” But he didn’t. I think we need to be more like Peter--a risk taker. See what happens. After all Jesus said, “Come on over for breakfast. It was His idea.”
The disciples took the bread and the fish that Jesus gave to them. It was what they all needed that day--not just Peter alone. Jesus offers to us exactly what we need in our current situation just as he did to them that morning, but he had a greater purpose in it for Peter. He had a special job for Peter to do and Peter wasn’t doing it. Peter had to move on. To get unstuck from all of the barriers that were hindering him. We need to deal with our past and experience not only the forgiveness that Jesus brought to us on the cross but to understand that his grace is enough to cover forgiving ourselves as well. It is a part of the package.
2. More Than Breakfast: After breakfast Jesus singled Peter out and asked him a question. “Simon, do you truly love me more than these?” He could have been referring to Peter’s fishing boats, his job as a fisherman, or he could have been referring to the others in the group. Jesus is trying to find out what the depth of His love for was for Him. Was it just a shallow, superficial love or was it rock solid like his name--Cephas the Rock as Jesus had called him in John 1:42.
STORY: A man took his son fishing one day. After a few hours in the boat with not
much to do, the son started asking his father some questions.
"How does the boat float?" he asked.
The man thought
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