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The Revd Canon Grace Thomas - 11/02/2024

The Revd Canon Grace Thomas shares this Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2 - Sunday 11th February.

A week ago, I saw a friend of a friend post on social media that they were selling tickets to a Taylor Swift concert. I was beyond excited. How we had sought those elusive treasures for my daughter, who desperately wanted to see her favourite pop queen in action!

I messaged the person and arranged for the not-insignificant amount of money to be transferred.

And then I waited.

Well, you may have guessed that it was a scam. There were no tickets. The person was not a friend of a friend but a hacker. And, if it hadn’t been for the excellent vigilance of my bank, I would be talking to you today considerably worse off.

Boy did I feel stupid. I was really hard on myself. How could I not see this? How could I have been fooled?

It took a few days for me to reflect and realise that if someone else had done this, I would have been deeply sympathetic. I would have told them how scammers are very clever these days. I would have reassured them that they were not the only ones to get caught out by such fraudsters. So, why would I have been so much kinder to someone else than I was being with myself?

As a Christian, I often emphasise the importance of forgiveness yet, often, I think I put far more energy into forgiving others than I do into forgiving myself – which isn’t good for me and isn’t good for those around me, either. Because, if don’t forgive myself, it gives the impression that I think we should be ashamed of the silly mistakes we make.

So, I’m here today owning the daft thing I did. Owning it because I know I’m not alone. Owning it because I know I’m still loved by God and I know that God wants me to forgive myself, too.

I’ve learnt two important lessons this week. The first is to triple-check any offers I see, however much I want them.

And the second lesson is that I’m human just like anyone else, and it's good to forgive myself.

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