3 Steps to Forgiving Yourself
Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. It can bring peace to troubled souls and offer hope for those needing a change. Sadly, the hardest person to forgive may be yourself. Perhaps you’ve heard that God forgives you, but in your own heart and mind, you struggle to accept it. You may battle against the shame and disquiet that plagues your memories—replaying things you should have done, things you shouldn’t have done, times you should have known better. How do you move forward? Here are three lessons you can learn and contemplate about God’s forgiveness for you:
- You Are Freely Forgiven
God’s forgiveness is not based on your performance. It’s not something you earn. Your salvation, the greatest example of forgiveness there is, was freely given (Romans 6:23). And your continued forgiveness is also freely given. The only requirement is heartfelt repentance.
- You Are Forgiven When You Confess
First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Forgiveness happens when you confess your sins. If you have confessed to the Lord the things you have done wrong, then you are forgiven. Any wrong decisions you made in the past have been wiped clean in Christ. That’s not to say there may not be earthly consequences, but in God’s eyes, you are clean.
- You Are Forgiven, Not Condemned
If you continue to struggle with feelings of condemnation, then ask the Lord to help you accept the forgiveness He has already given you. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Understand who wrote those words. The Apostle Paul, who wrote that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, would have suffered with his share of condemnation. Before coming to the Lord, he had persecuted God’s people, and even caused the death of one of the apostles. He had blood on his hands from his past, but he had accepted God’s forgiveness completely and dedicated his life to sharing the gospel. In other words, he was still used mightily by God, and you can be used mightily, too.
If you struggle with feelings of regret, inadequacy or depression over past mistakes, then take time to meditate on God’s forgiveness. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and help you overcome those thoughts and feelings. Also commit to combatting them with the Word of God by saying out loud, “I have confessed my sins, therefore my heavenly Father promised to forgive me according to 1 John 1:9.” Remind yourself of that and repeat it often until it becomes heartfelt revelation to you.
If you need someone to stand in faith with you, contact a pastor at your local church or call the KCM Prayer Line at +1-817-852-6000. Commit to stand in faith until you know beyond any doubt that your forgiveness is complete!