Self-Forgiveness: Why Can’t I Forgive Myself

Beloved Saints,

Robert D. Jones write, “What does the Bible say about forgiving yourself? Surprisingly nothing! You may study God’s Word from cover to cover, but you will not find self-forgiveness mentioned, either by example or precept. The Bible speaks of vertical forgiveness (God forgiving us) and horizontal forgiveness (a person forgiving another person).

There are so many things I wish to say; that I have wrestled with heart issues. I have plucked away at the symptoms but never got to the root cause. I have hurt people emotionally, I have wounded people with my words. I used to be a hate filled angry person. Sometimes that ugliness still rears its head. I would try to stifle the voices with good works that said I was worthless or meaningless. I would try to read my bible more, or go to church more, or do all these Jesus things. It wouldn’t work because I left God’s forgiveness and peoples forgiveness out of the loop. I can’t do the forgiving God does. Still- I have always struggled with this concept in the back of my mind I understood that Jesus Christ came to this earth in order to restore our relationship with our Creator God. We were created to serve this God, we were created to love him with all our heart, soul, and mind.I did not understand why all the guilt would stack up upon my shoulders repeatedly as if the enemy was continually reminding me of my sin. I did not fully grasp that giving Jesus my sorrows and my pain would be way better than trying to edge around this idea of positional holiness I kept trying to build for myself. You know the chatter inside your head with God, “Okay God if I do *insert good work* then you will love me a little more or maybe I would be a tad bit closer to Jesus.” I had to say you know what, that is a lie. It is a lie that I can do anything to create a deeper love than what the Father already sees in me, I mean as a believer God looks through his Son at me. I am tucked into a family who he has chosen and set apart! Our Father in heaven is so Good.

Horatio Spafford sang, “My sin- O, the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin- not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!” How great a treat is to recognize the sweet songs truth. Jesus Christs’ blood purchased us when he bled and died on that cross for us. Jesus Christ wiped the slate clean, and he intercedes for us now.

Furthermore, if we are creating standards are creating standards for ourselves the minute we fail is the minute we question everything about ourselves. We sway in the wind! God has a list of standards that he provided Israel (and us) with and they (like us)continually messed up and each time God provided a redeemer a savior to Israel. Until finally the final Savior came the one that would die and say, “it is finished.” He purchased us right there. Gods only Son.

1 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.” We are confessing our sins to our Father in heaven, and as a believer we are freely forgiven time after time. We must strive for growth to be more like Jesus, but I will humbly say that I have been a debtor to grace and I have forgotten this.

Take heart- Jesus as Christians is restoring us and making us more like him. He is taking my fragility and my pain and turning it into something amazing. He already has: adopted, redeemed, loved, cared, protected, and lead me. I just want to say that you cannot forgive yourself, but you have access to the one who can. The one who knows you the one who wants to adopt you as a son or daughter. Praise be to God we have this free gift.

May the grace and peace of our Lord and Savior be with you today & be blessed brothers and sisters!

Joyfully His,

M. Elyse Urban

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