It’s Outrageous!

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:6-7

That’s all it took for God to forgive Isaiah’s sin. A lump of hot coal to his lips. It was so simple.

Actually, it was Outrageous! Why? Because we can’t understand it. It goes again our logic of how we should deal with forgiving others. How is it possible to forgive someone so easily and quickly? our-loving-god-1-638

It’s not possible. And I know. There are many people I have had a great deal of difficulty forgiving in my life. No, this is outrageous!

In fact, many Christians believe it’s impossible for God to forgive the sins they have committed. I have worked with numerous believers who struggle to feel God’s love and embrace. And while there certainly is every reason for us to feel unworthy of His love, He takes a completely different approach to us.

 “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:16

Again, it’s Outrageous! We’re rebellious creatures. We don’t pursue Him. We focus more on our selfish desires and worldly values than we do on Spiritual values. Yet, He loved us first. I can’t comprehend His ability to love us unconditionally.

Brennan Manning in his classic bestseller The Ragamuffin Gospel compared our love and God’s love like this. “Human love will always be a faint shadow to God’s love. Not because it is too sugary or sentimental, but simply because it can never compare from whence it comes. Human love, with all its passion and emotion, is a thin echo of the passion/emotion love of Yahweh.”

Which leads us to these questions. Why does the creator of the universe humble Himself to forgive us? Why does He demonstrate His love by carving our names on His palms? Why does He take time to deal with those of us who believe, yet don’t pay attention to Him or His commands? I can’t fully understand, therefore it’s Outrageous!

We can’t comprehend His love and forgiveness because it’s not natural for us, but it is natural for our God. Yes, it’s even Outrageous! And we should be thankful and grateful we have an Outrageous God who loves, accepts and forgives us unconditionally.

Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS is a licensed professional counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA. He is certified in the treatment of sexual and pornography addiction. He is the author of the book Removing Your Shame Label: Learning to Break From Shame and Feel God’s Love. Eddie can he reached at edcappa@gmail.com. Also visit his blog at http://www.tamingchristianshame.com or website at http://www.abundantlifecounselingga.com.

Our God: He’s More than an Invisible Friend

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS

As a child, I had an invisible friend who I called upon when I was feeling lonely, sad, or scared. He was a wonderful source of comfort and helped entertain me during times when I felt isolated. He made my loneliness disappear and I felt safe with him around.

untitledWhat I loved most about my invisible friend was his consistency. I didn’t need to worry about him disappointing me by not showing up. So often I felt disappointed by family members who didn’t provide me with the level of attention and affirmation I needed as a child. Not the case with my invisible friend, who was faithful in helping me get through uncomfortable times.

I wonder how many of us think of God as an invisible friend. Someone we can call on when we are facing stressful times or painful moments. We ask Him to remove our distress and provide us with comfort. “Be there for me when I feel alone,” is what we request. And, He certainly can deliver upon that appeal.

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The Challenges of Forgiveness

Forgiving people who have caused us trauma can be very difficult, especially for Christian who are often shamed or made to feel guilty because they struggle to forgive. I see this scenario play out every day in my private counseling practice as I assist individuals who struggle to forgive. forgiveness-1767432_1280-1

 This weekend I read one an excellent best book that describes what is and is not forgiveness. Below is a review.  

Simple yet powerful. That is the best way to describe the latest work Yvonne Ortega entitled “Moving From Broken to Beautiful Through Forgiveness”.

And that is exactly the journey Yvonne takes readers as she carefully breaks down the difficulties and confusion many people have when they think about forgiving those who have caused great hurt and pain. The prospect of forgiving someone who has inflicted severe trauma is never easy and many are left feeling guilty because of their inability to forgive.   Continue reading