For you have stepped out and put yourself at risk. You have followed me in dramatic and significant ways, without any guarantees it would turn out favorably for you. And you did so without hesitating, without considering what it would cost you. In your heart you never compromised, and always desired to follow my will completely. And so, as you reflect upon your life be kind with yourself. In your assessment of your past, keep in mind your motivation and the guidance of my spirit as you consider the results and the outcome.
For it is so easy to look at outward appearances and make your judgments, even judgments about yourself. It is so easy to be short-sighted as you recall how events unfolded over the course of your life. It is so easy to overlook the intent and motivation behind your choices, only putting emphasis on results and on that which can be easily measured. So as you reflect on your past, be kind with yourself, remembering you did the best you could in that moment, and you were following me as best you could in that moment.
As you consider all the angles of your past you will grow in your understanding and compassion. As you examine your own history you will be equipped to better understand your neighbor and their history. And in your understanding you will grow in compassion. You will increase in your compassion and patience and will overlook trivial, irrelevant offenses. So examine your own past and take time to understand your own story. Reflect on your failures and misunderstandings, and offer mercy and forgiveness to yourself. For in doing so you will demonstrate reconciliation to your own self, as well as your neighbor.
For you have been forgiven all these things already, so why allow them to haunt you? You have already been liberated from their guilt, so why allow their shame to surround you? Forgive yourself, and forgive your neighbor, receiving the forgiveness I have already extended to you. Forgive your neighbor in the same capacity, to the same degree I have already forgiven you. Forgive yourself in the same capacity, to the same degree I have already forgiven you.
And as you do, you will experience freedom from the weight of shame, no longer being haunted or condemned by the memory of past offenses. You will forgive yourself, and you will forgive your neighbor, and will destroy walls of offense that only serve to keep you isolated and divided, as you abide in the unity and joy of reconciliation.