I Can't Forgive Myself
So many times I have heard the expression, “I just can’t forgive myself.” Guess what? I have good news for you! You don’t have to. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a gift that Jesus died to give you. All you have to do is accept it. Many think they are having difficulty forgiving themselves when actually they are just having difficulty accepting the gift of forgiveness. When Christ said on the cross, “It is finished,” He meant it is finished! He was the prefect sacrifice, the spotless lamb given for you and me. If someone gives you a gift, do you give it back and say, “No thank you”? No, you simply accept it and say, “Thank you.” That is what Jesus wants us to do with the gift of forgiveness. If we try to take on the job of forgiving ourselves then we are actually denying the finished work on the cross.
What separates us from freedom and from applying this truth to our lives is wrong teaching or wrong thinking about our identity. In reality, we have the head knowledge that God forgives all sins, but this message can’t seem to reach our heart, which in turn makes it difficult to apply to our lives. Many times, the roadblock to freedom is in our mind.
It’s important to note that there is a big difference between forgiveness and healing. While forgiveness can be instantaneous for some people, healing is a process that takes time. Healing comes as forgiveness is extended. When we think about forgiveness, we should see the cross. Through the cross we see the vertical and horizontal forgiveness that Jesus established. Because of what Christ has done for us there is a vertical forgiveness. This takes place as many times as we need it between us on earth and Jesus, who sits as our mediator in Heaven at the right hand of the Father. That forgiveness gives us the power to then forgive horizontally all those around us. In both directions, we can experience freedom!
Once I was speaking at a ladies’ luncheon and I shared this truth. Afterwards, as some of the ladies were greeting me, I noticed an elderly lady in the back. She was circling tables, and I distinctly noticed how she hung her head. After the room cleared, she walked up to me and said, “Honey I was invited to come here today, and I didn’t want to come, but I am so glad I did. I have been waiting all my life to hear what you said today.” She was seventy-two years old and had been trapped in torment through the years trying to forgive herself and needing to understand the gift of God through His Son Jesus. She needed to understand there was nothing wrong with her, she just needed to heal.
On another occasion, I shared this truth with a fifty-four-year-old woman. Instantly, before my very eyes, I saw a physical transformation take place as the light bulbs went on and chains fell away. She said, “All this time I thought something was wrong with me because I couldn’t seem to forgive myself.” To which I replied, “My sweet sister, Jesus never required this of you. It was out of His great love He gifted it to you.”
Forgiveness cannot be proven by our feelings. Forgiveness is a choice not an emotion. We first choose to forgive, then the feelings follow. Not the other way around. We cannot rely on feelings; we must rely on truth!
How far does God go to remove our sins? Read Psalm 103:12- as far as the east is to the west
Does God remember our sins? Read Hebrews 8:12 No!
God does not remember our sins, but He doesn’t allow us to forget. I have often wondered why. I have come to believe that the memory of our past sins and hurts provides a powerful platform to minister to other hurting people. So it is that our past mistakes and the radical grace and healing God has provided us now become an extended gift to others.
Think of those involved with your painful experience. Whom do you need to forgive? Sit quietly with God. Ask Him to bring every person to mind.
Harboring unforgiveness in our heart towards someone actually harms us, not them. You may have heard the saying, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping someone else would die.” It is so true. It harms us, not the other.
Do you set limitations or standards for forgiving others?
For example: “I will forgive ___________ when___________ or if _______________.
If you do, you may be waiting a long time. Our standards usually don’t come to fruition.
Paul is very clear on how we must forgive. What does he say in Colossians 3:13? Forgive one another as Christ as forgave us
Our very own fellowship with God and our forgiveness depend on us forgiving others.
Can you imagine God denying you the forgiveness of your sins? How does the thought impact you?
The way I see it, the greatest opportunity to share the Gospel is through forgiveness. I remember the day I was faced with a decision to forgive or not. I heard the Lord whisper, “Forgive now,
just as I forgave you.” In that moment, the mercy He poured over me from the sin of my abortion flashed before my eyes.
When we forgive we mirror Christ. Through forgiveness, we experience the fullness of God’s grace. Take a moment and ask God to show you any unforgiveness remaining in your heart.
What does Ephesians 4:32 then tell you to do? Forgive one another
Take some time to meditate on the cross where He was wounded for your sins. Now, take some time to thank Him that by His stripes you are healed. Thank Him for the gift of forgiveness. Thank Him for His glorious love. Be reconciled to God though His son, Jesus Christ, rejoicing in the truth that nothing can separate you from His love! How beautiful it is! He adores you!
In case you’re still struggling with forgiving yourself, let’s align our thoughts once more. Thinking we must forgive ourselves indicates that we either doubt God’s forgiveness through His Son, or we just don’t believe we are worthy enough to receive it. Pride could also be a hindrance. Have we ascended to the throne and made ourself judge? In this case, we need to ask for forgiveness for attempting to take Jesus’s seat of authority. All ideas are lies of the enemy. Forgiveness is not something you can do for yourself. If we could do it ourselves, why would we need a Savior? It is a gift that has been purchased for you. Forgiveness died and rose again for you and me. Choose today to honor our Lord by fully receiving His gift of forgiveness. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 NIV).
Will you now receive the gift of forgiveness? You have to choose. Reach out and take it!
Now, let’s have some fun and get empowered by the Word! We are free from indwelling sin!
What do the following verses declare?
Romans 8:1 There is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus
Romans 8:28 All things work together for Good for those called according to His purpose
Romans 8:32 He gave us His son and. He freely gives us all things
Romans 8:33 It is God who justifies us
Romans 8:34 Christ died for us and makes intercession for us
Romans 8:37 We are more than conquers through Him who loves us
Romans 8:38-39 Nothing can separate us from Gods love
Ok are you ready to forgive.. say it out loud..words have power!
I forgive _______________________ for ____________________________________. I will no longer allow this person, these memories, these feelings control or manipulate me anymore.
For some of you this is extremely difficult. What you have gone through was deeply painful and you feel like you will never be able to forgive and maybe have even said so. But remember, forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for you. Forgiveness does not mean you allow ongoing pain or suffering. For example: Someone may have abused you in some way. Just because you forgive them does not mean they can continue to harm you, or that you have to stay in a position to allow them to.
The other thing to know is that with forgiveness there is not always reconciliation. Many times reconciliation does not or cannot happen, but that’s not needed for your freedom. Let me give you another example: Once I was counseling a mother who lost her daughter to suicide. The mother was struggling with guilt. She desperately wished she could talk with her daughter and reconcile, but her daughter was gone. Nevertheless, this mother needed to be set free. Her very life depended on it. So, one day during one of our sessions, I had her speak out to her daughter as if she was in the room. I asked her, what would you like to say to your daughter? I pulled up a chair as if her daughter was sitting there. The mother began to sweat and shake as she spoke. She was being delivered. Though reconciliation was not possible, she was able to tell her daughter she was sorry and ask for her forgiveness. Giving her the opportunity to verbalize these things set her free from the bondage she was in. Now, I know we are not to communicate with those that have passed, but this was not an attempt to do that. It was simply an exercise to help the mom verbalize what she needed to say to bring her freedom.
Extending forgiveness and accepting forgiveness sets YOU free! If you are still struggling with forgiving, let me give you a visual. Imagine yourself walking around all the time with a heavy bag filled with stones wrapped around your neck. For the sake of analogy, we will call this weight the “bag of unforgiveness.” It has become a huge burden, because it is with you everywhere you go. The heaviness has your head lowered and your spine out of alignment. You are in desperate need of rehab. The pain and discomfort is growing by the day. It is affecting your health and functional abilities. This “bag of unforgiveness” is draining you, paralyzing you, and eventually could kill you, because of the strain it’s putting on all the other vital parts of your body, soul, and spirit. What is one to do?
Seek a physician, the greatest physician, Jesus. Allow Him to heal you. Of course, you play a role in the healing process too. You have to be willing to remove what is making you weary and sick. You have to be willing to see the Physician.
Are you ready to fully forgive those who have hurt you? The time is now! Turn away. Let God flood your heart with His peace. He will make a way for you to move forward, out of your place of confinement and into the fullness of life.
Accept this gracious gift, and then gift it to others! Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as He has forgiven you (Colossians 3:13).
Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the doors to power!
Forgiveness opens the flood gates for wounds to heal and breaks the bondage of offenses. It brings life to the soul and health to the bones. It’s a mighty tool of God to bring healing all around in every circumstance. It stops the enemy cold, because it is a reflection of Christ; His identity, and our identity. Forgive others, not because they deserve it, but because you deserve it. You deserve peace.
Father, I pray right not in this moment for all my listeners to walk in the Freedom of Forgiveness. In Jesus name amen
The Glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. -William Blake
When we forgive, we give a sinner like ourselves another chance and we free ourselves to live and grow in the bountiful grace of God.
—Vinita Hampton Wright
Friends, I hope you have a great week! Love you bunches Live Life Abudanlty.