Not everyone is strong enough to forgive themselves straightaway, even after the people they have done wrong have forgiven them, and even after the God Almighty has forgiven them. Some keep those awful emotions around them like a blanket, covering their entire body and refusing to cease the wailing – to the point of uselessness.
If you’re one of those who finds it hard to move on from past mistakes, how are you keeping up with your life then? This is a curious question so please don’t get offended. Everyone messes up, the greatest of all saints have messed up, but I don’t think they have spent the rest of their lives walking down the low road of self-pity, regret, guilt and shame. What I think they did was acknowledged their mistakes, took responsibility for them with appropriate feelings of remorse, made amends, and learned from them so they don’t happen again.
I know it isn’t that easy for everyone. It might be tough for you. But it doesn’t make any sense to let your guilt drown you in shame and beat yourselves up when the Good Lord has already forgiven you. As they say, anything past the point of learning is just needless suffering and excessive guilt. You’re not only destroying yourself but your relationship with others as well.
So how are you ever going to forgive yourself? Here are four things you can do so you can learn to forgive yourself.
Trust in the Word of God
God has cleansed us from every bit of our righteousness the moment His son, Jesus, shed His blood for us on the Cross. Instead of stocking up on negative emotions, flood yourself with the Good News. No matter how you feel, the Word of God remains true and clear – your emotions are nothing to what God’s Word says.
While God’s Word is always mighty, constant, true and objective, our feelings are shallow, erratic, unpredictable and subjective. Emotions are subjectively true, they might be right or they might be wrong. But God’s Word is always true, no matter what they feel like and facts cannot be changed by feelings.
Which would you believe more? Feelings or facts?
Jesus death is enough
Whoever thinks that the Lord will not forgive them is actually placing a higher standard of forgiveness than even the Lord holds. Why are you still struggling to forgive yourself if you’ve already repented and trusted that the Lord has cleansed and forgiven you? Is it because you feel like your sins are too much even for God to forgive, or is it because you’re still living a sinful life?
The Lord has said it Himself that we can be forgiven from all of our trespasses, then you’ve got to trust that. Jesus surrendered His life to the Father to save us.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” – Mark 10:45.
If that isn’t enough, then what should be? Don’t you think that Jesus’ perfect life, suffering, death, and resurrection was more than enough to save you?
Jesus paid our sins in full
Many denominations aren’t settled that Jesus’ death is the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for humanity’s sins. You need to do this, do that, and the list goes on, so that you can be saved. Isn’t the blood of Jesus Christ enough? Should it be Jesus + something else = forgiveness and salvation?
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
In other words, without Jesus death on the cross, no one would have eternal life. However, we can only attain salvation if we accept Jesus as our personal Saviour. Jesus paid our sins in full. It’s useless to add something else to our salvation.
God is our only Judge
There are still Christians who look and judge other Christians and believe they may not be saved. As the old adage goes, “To err is human, to forgive is divine”. Humans as we are, we are bound to mistakes. No matter how much you try, no matter how much you pray, you’re going to sin again – even after you’re saved. If you feel like people are judging or condemning you for your wrongdoings, it’s worth noting that you don’t need to pass their standard. Only God can judge you.
We will stand before God. No single human being can condemn who God has received. No one or nothing can separate us from God, ever again, so if God is for you, who or what could ever be against you? Who can contend and win?
My piece of advice:
Please don’t ever think that you are past forgiveness.
As 1st John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.
Far too often, we’re the only ones holding back on forgiving ourselves. Don’t be too hard on yourself, God has forgiven you, so forgive yourself already.