How To Forgive Yourself
People sometimes don't want God's forgiveness because they feel like they can't or won't forgive themselves.
I want to you can by saying to introductory thoughts.
1). Some people feel guilt for things they haven't even done wrong. Some people feel guilty when actually someone else had done wrong to them. 1 John 3:20.
2). It is far better to not have to try to forgive yourself. It is better to not have to get forgiveness from God or to forgive your self. Stay away from sin. Best defense against sin is a clear record. Satan is a liar he will tell you that the fun will be maximum and the consequences of the guilt will be minimal. He lied. Then after the sin, the guilt will be so overwhelming that he will lie to you again and tell you that it is hopeless. Your life is ruined. You can't be forgiven. And even if God could forgive you, you still won’t be able to forgive yourself. So just give it up and abandon yourself. That is sort of what David was saying in Psalms 25:7 (KJV) Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
How can you forgive yourself?
1. Seek, don't avoid God's chastening
Hebrews 12:5 (KJV) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.
Proverbs 3:11 (KJV) My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction.
A. Chastisement helps establish the parent/child relationship.
Children will often run from chastening. Know matter how old we are we want to run from chastening. The Bible says however, that chastening is good not bad. The Greek word for chastening is built on the Greek word for child. In the Bible we see that the word child or son goes with the word chastening. Chasten thy son…It is a loving concept. When God chastens us then we can feel and tell his love for us. chastening comes out of a heart love. It is confirmation for the child that he is loved by the parent. Children who are not chastened feel like they are not loved. They don’t feel the love of the boundaries that parents are supposed to put around their child. Hebrews 12:8 (KJV) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Parents should explain to their children when they chasten them that God chastens us because He loves us. Because I love you, I have to spank you because God loves us and spanks us. Over-permissiveness brings rejection in a child. It’s like you don’t love them enough to make them do right.
B. Chastening isn’t disciple. It is training. It is loving. It is giving direction. It is character development.
It is not payment for your sin. It is not punishment for your sin. You don’t spank a child to get even with a child. God’s goal in chastening is to change our heart and our behavior. Punishment is an end in itself. Chastening is a means to an end.
C. Chastisement helps relieve the conscience of guilt.
A little boy came to his mom and asked for a spanking. The wise mother asked, “Why?” The little boy said, “I just need a spanking. Will you give me a spanking?” The mother pried further and found out that the little boy had stolen something and was feeling guilty for it and needed relief and release from the guilt. The spanking accomplishes that. A good way to be able to forgive yourself is to let God chasten you to relief the conscience of guilt.
D. Chastening restores the broken relationship between the parent and the child. A rebellious child alienates the child from the parent. The parent can’t show love to the child like they want to. When God chastens us it is the means for us to repent, demonstrate love, cleanse away evil and create a bridge to restore fellowship. A child properly spanked will often crawl right into his child’s arms. When God chastens you, crawl up into his lap and let Him love you. Let God confirm His love and acceptance. Psalms 94:12 (KJV) Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law. Proverbs 20:30 (KJV) The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly. Makes the inside feel better.
Past wrong must be made right to the best of your ability. God requires that which is past.
2. Draw on the same reservoir to forgive yourself that is used to forgive others.God put a reservoir inside of you so you would be able to forgive others. Those who have trouble forgiving themselves also have trouble forgiving others and either one of those may grow out of the other. If you have trouble forgiving yourself you may have trouble forgiving others. If you have trouble forgiving others you may have trouble forgiving yourself. Hebrews 12:15 (KJV) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. Whenever there is a need to forgive, God brings His dump truck load of grace and dumps it right into your heart so that you can forgive those who do you wrong. What a wonderful thought! If you are not forgiving those who do you wrong it is because you are not receiving God’s grace to do so. Grace is there to forgive. You either receive the grace of God or you become bitter and that bitterness will affect you and others around you.
Forgiveness is not an option for the Christian. God forgives us freely, fully, and forever. And God’s people are suppose to forgive freely, fully, and forever.
Forgiveness is not an emotion, it is an act of the will based on the fact that the Lord has forgiven you. The Bible teaches that as we have been forgiven, we forgive others. What does the Lord’s prayer say?
What did Jesus say when dying on the cross. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He was talking about us and we weren’t even there. When somebody does you wrong, sometimes you just reach in and hand them forgiveness. Sometimes you need to speak the words of forgiveness to them even though they might not be there. They might not even ask for forgiveness, but speak the words of forgiveness. Get a chair, set that other person in the chair and explain to them what they did wrong. Then say, “But I forgive you. Jesus has forgiven me of more than what you did to me and I here and now forgive you.“ That works.
How about when you do wrong or you are struggling to forgive yourself? Picture yourself in that chair and say to yourself, “Here is what you did, but there is nothing else that you can do now. You have asked God to forgive you and now I am going to forgive you as well. Draw on the same reservoir to forgive yourself that is used to forgive others.
A lady said to her pastor about her husband: “I can’t forgive that man he has ruined the last fifteen years of my life.” And the pastor said, “And if you don’t forgive him, you will ruin the next fifteen years of your life. Forgiveness is when you set a prisoner free and find out that that prisoner was you. You are in bondage until you forgive.
3. Focus on God’s forgiveness instead of how you feel or how you think others may feel
The reason why we don’t forgive others is because we don’t feel like it. Do you know why we don’t forgive ourselves? It’s because we don’t feel like forgiving ourselves. Focus on God’s forgiveness instead of how you feel. God’s forgiveness is something phenomenal.
Psalms 130:4 (KJV) But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Psalms 103:3 (KJV) Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.
Micah 7:19 (KJV) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Hebrews 10:17 (KJV) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
God’s forgiveness is amazing. Whatever you have done wrong, if you humble yourself before God and repent, He will forgive you. You have to focus on that forgiveness instead of how you feel or how even others may feel.
Some of you beat yourselves up. Self forgiveness is really a problem for people with deep emotions or those who have the spiritual gift of prophecy. Characteristics: need to express yourself verbally, make quick impressions of people, alert to dishonesty, desire for justice, open about your faults, wholehearted involvement, loyal to truth, willing to suffer for right, persuasive in defining truth, condemning yourself, unforgiving, impetuous, cut off people who fail, lack tactfulness in rebuke, dwell on the negative.
You see right and wrong so clearly that you know you did wrong and you really want to beat yourself up for it.
Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV) Paul was not going to let anything that happened in the past stop him from doing what God had for him to do. You have to do the same thing. Move forward no matter what your emotions feel like. Paul came to the place where he buried all the old skeletons of the past.
If those sins that we have brought to Jesus are ever brought up again, it won’t be God who brings them up. You can’t find your sins in the deepest parts of the sea. Some of those parts of the sea have never been explored. Your sins are gone. Who brings those sins up? Satan, the accuser of the brethren. Or his servants. Sadly, those people aren’t always outside the church, sometimes they are inside the church.
Proverbs 16:27 (KJV) An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. Man may never forgive you, but if you have asked God, He already has. Don’t keep blaming yourself. Get up, move on, and serve God. How many Christians are worrying over things that God has already forgiven and forgotten? When they get to heaven they will be surprised to know that God doesn’t even know the things they have been worrying about.
If the death of Jesus on the cross has paid the penalty for our sins, they why should we add our continual regret to His already finished work.
I sinned, and straight way post-haste Satan flew before the presence of the most High God and made a railing accusation there,He said, “This soul, this thing of clay and sod has sinned.Tis true that he has named thy name, But I demand His death, for thou hast said,The soul that sinneth, it shall dieShall not the sentence be fulfilled,Is justice dead?Send now this wretched sinner to his doom,What other thing can a righteous ruler do?”And thus he did accuse me day and night And every word he spoke, O God, was true.Then quickly one rose from God’s right hand,Before whose glory the angels veiled their eyes.He spoke, “Each jot and title of the Law must be fulfilled.The guilty sinner dies,But wait! Suppose his guilt was all transferred to me,And that I pay his penalty?Behold, my hands, my side, my feet.One day I was made sin for himAnd died that he might be presented faultless at thy throne.”And Satan fled away for full well he knew that he could not prevail against such love,For every word my dear Lord spoke was very very true.
Saying, I can’t forgive myself is the same thing as saying, I don’t deserve to be forgiven. But the truth is that no one deserves to be forgiven. All forgiveness is purely because the grace of our God. You need to fully accept God’s forgiveness and then allow Him to communicate to you through the Bible, and prayer, and the Holy Spirit how special you are to Him.
4. Catch A Vision Of What God Can Do With Your Life When You Forgive Yourself
Hebrews 12:13 (KJV) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Hebrews 12:15 (KJV) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
What is our tendency after we have sinned and been chastened. We walk around with our heads down. We walk around defeated. God says, “Stand up straight and make a straight path for your feet. Determine a straight path to go and don’t limp because there are some lame people behind you who need to find the way to go on themselves. If you don’t make a path for someone else to follow you let them down. There are two paths for every trial. I suggest you request a copy of that message. We all go through trials. The trial could be your own failure. Some people go through the trail and confess that sin and failure and ask for God’s help so they can have a testimony on the other end. Other people take the low road. They say, I don’t care about anything else. I just want this trial to be over. If you take that low trail, anybody who follows you on that trail, is going to be in trouble. Just like you are in trouble. Take the high road and everybody who follows you on that trail is going to see your testimony and they are not going to be lame, and they are not going to be defeated. They are going to be able to live in victory.
There were four key women listed in the geneology of Jesus. All four were not Jews, but Gentiles. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba. Who would have ever dreamed they could have been in that geneology? When we get to heaven we might be surprised of who God used and how He used them.
There is a key principle that ties in here from Luke 7:36-50. This brings me to my past point.
5. Let Your Great Sins Forgiveness Make You Love Jesus More
Here is a woman with a terrible background. You would think she would have had trouble forgiving herself. She is the first one on Resurrection Sunday morning to get to the tomb. John 20:1-2,10-16. Here is a woman with terrible sins in her past who has caught a vision that she can be close to the Lord. She was the first human being to see the Resurrected Christ. She fell in love with Jesus.
Terrible sins will either make you love Jesus more or despair of life itself.Two sisters were visiting their grandparents. They found a bike in the garage and asked if they could ride it and grandma said, “Yes.”
The girls went out, they couldn’t agree over who should ride first. They got into a heated argument about it. The older girl won. The younger sister screamed as the older girl rode away, “I hope it kills you!” Don’t ever say those words. A few minutes later a car hit that sister on the bike and she was killed instantly.
The younger sister could not forget her words. She made a terrible mistake and thought she had to pay for it. Her grades started going down in school. She lost interest in everything. She spent hours scolding herself. She felt like she could never be happy again because to be happy would mean that she wasn’t sorry for her mistake. At age 19, she couldn’t stand it anymore and took her life. Terrible sins will either make you love Jesus more or despair of life itself.
Have you failed? Ask God to forgive you and then forgive yourself. How do you forgive yourself?Seek God’s chastening, don’t avoid it. Let that chastening draw you close to HimDraw on the same reservoir…Focus on God’s forgivenessCatch a vision of what God can do with your life…Let your sin’s forgiveness let you love Jesus more.
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