Posted by: Terry | April 8, 2009

Absolution or emotional muscles

Watched a bit of a Tony Robbins infomercial this morning in the hotel room, he explained that what is keeping most people from living a fulfilling and satisfying life is that they have “undeveloped emotional muscles.” (Of course he just happens to know how to fix that and will be happy to sell you his CDs that give you the solution.)

There is truth to what he says. People come to my seminars daily that are struggling with life and all it throws at them. It is not the situations they face that inflict the real pain, it is the injury the events do to their emotions and ego that cuts the deepest. And more often than not it is an underlying sensation of guilt and inadequacy that is at the root of it all.

Jimmy Buffet writes in the song “Remittance Man” of a man who is “looking for absolution not accountability.” We are all aware of the need to be forgiven. We know we fall short, we fail to measure up, and the result is guilt and insecurity. Insecurity leads to most of our personal and relational problems.

This is Holy Week; it begins with Palm Sunday, remembering when Jesus entered Jerusalem to the praise and accolades of the people. It ends on Easter Sunday when we remember that Jesus did not stay in the grave.

Between those two grand events is the darkest day in history, Good Friday. Yet out of the darkness of Good Friday comes the promise of forgiveness. The message God has for the world is that you are absolved, you are forgiven; all because Jesus died on that Friday so long ago.

Robbins talks about forgetting the past, focusing on the future, setting goals. All good things, yet until the nagging truth that simply forgetting about the past does not deal with our guilt, the success will not be complete. We know we need something more, we need absolution.

As I eat lamb kabobs on the grill this Sunday, my thoughts will be on Friday and the passage from Colossians 2.13-14:

“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”


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