After my post on radical forgiveness I heard from people who said their toughest battle was forgiving themselves. Self-forgiveness is hard for many of us, perhaps because those raised in Christianity have been steeped in the pain of our inherent sinfulness. The afterlife evidence has some pretty important news for us on that score! But before we talk about how we can best deal with the notion of original sin, let’s first understand why learning self-forgiveness is so important.
Afterlife communicators consistently suggest that there is indeed a judgment, but neither God nor any religious figure ever is our afterlife judge. Instead, soon after our deaths we undergo a holographic life review in which we feel again every emotion of our lives, and we also feel all the emotions that our actions have engendered in others. Then, while we are reeling from the shock of that, we are told that it is time to forgive ourselves. The dead consistently say that each of us will be our own afterlife judge! And believe it or not, Jesus has been telling us the same thing for two thousand years.
It’s important to remember that when Jesus lived, to speak against the tenets of Judaism could bring a prompt death sentence. The crowds that followed him included Temple spies, but these spies were often changed, so one of Jesus’s devices for thwarting arrest was to parcel out bits of truth on different days. Fresh spies would be oblivious, but his followers could put it all together.
Few Christians seem to have noticed that Jesus told us two thousand years ago that God doesn’t judge us.
“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.” (JN 5:21-23)
Okay, so now Jesus has us focused on the notion that God has made him our new judge. Then on another day, before different Temple spies, he gives us these additional insights.
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.” (JN 12:47)
So God doesn’t judge us and Jesus doesn’t judge us. Who then will be our afterlife judge? On a different day, with different Temple spies, he gives us the same answer that the dead give us.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (MT 7:1-2).
For Jesus to have said all at once that God doesn’t judge us, but instead each of us will be our own judge, would have brought him to the cross a lot sooner. He had to be cagey about it. Unfortunately, these are subtleties that mainstream Christianity has missed. But Jesus said it two thousand years ago, and the dead are telling us the same thing today: after death, each of us will be our own judge. So the art of self-forgiveness is the most important thing that we can learn in our lives.
The fact that self-forgiveness is so important means that the central Christian teaching that we are reprobates so repulsive to God that Jesus had to die to “save” us is plain tragic. Fortunately, though, the afterlife evidence gives us a set of wonderful truths to join with the beautiful teachings of Jesus and replace the doctrine of original sin. What we learn from nearly two hundred years of abundant and consistent communications from the dead is that each of our minds is part of eternal Mind – each of us is part of God, if you will – and each of us is infinitely loved. The evidence is strong that no matter what we do, God never judges us. God seems not even to notice. It’s as if each of us is God’s treasured toddler, blundering about and getting into trouble but incapable of doing anything wrong.
Even after you have replaced the flawed notion of original sin with the evidence-based truth of original perfection, learning self-forgiveness can be tough. In my experience, your best approach is first to learn to forgive others, immediately and completely, no matter what they do. As Jesus says, we should forgive even someone who wrongs us repeatedly, “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (MT 18:21-23) Learn to practice automatic love and forgiveness, so when you stand before the bar of your own unfortunate mistakes in this life you will have the judgment of a supportive being who will give you only perfect love.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/60532802@N07/5851785399″>Countdown 1</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/36829113@N05/3393763298/”>angelofsweetbitter2009</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>