Everybody makes mistakes, but forgiving yourself is not easy. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. This means we all mess up sometimes. No matter how big or small your mistake, God is all loving, all forgiving, and He is available to offer you the light you might be seeking while trapped in the darkness of your failures. It’s nice to know that God forgives, but sometimes the hardest person to forgive- is ourselves.
It’s easy to play the wrongs we’ve done in our head over and over. We remember that thing we said to a person we care about and it still bothers us. Or, we continually remember some decision we made on a night long ago and no matter how hard we try it continues to haunt us. Forgiveness is letting go of our right to get even with someone who has wronged us. But, maybe you’re continually carrying around the weight of decisions you’ve made years ago. In the same way a parent would want their children to be happy and move on from any mistakes they’ve made, God wants us to forgive ourselves and move on from past mistakes we’ve made. If Jesus will forgive us of everything we’ve ever done wrong, then we should also forgive ourselves.
Here are 3 tips to help you forgive yourself
Understand that everyone makes mistakes
Every single person who has ever lived on this planet has made mistakes. The Bible says that God “knows how we are formed and remembers that we are made from the dust.” God’s not surprised that we mess us because he understands how humans are. The greatest news is that he knows how we are, but loves us anyways.
Make the choice to forgive yourself
Forgiveness is difficult. It’s easy to punish ourselves over our past. We easily go back to our choices and beat ourselves up again and again for what we’ve done. In some ways we feel like we deserve our shame and it feels right to sit in our guilt. But, that’s not what God wants for us. We have to make the choice to move forward and let go of our past. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a choice. If you wait until you feel like forgiving yourself or until you feel forgiven, then you probably never will. At some point you have to simply make the choice to forgive yourself.
Engage in the process of letting go
Forgiveness may be a choice, but it’s also a journey. Forgiveness is a process and letting go of our past doesn’t happen overnight. Our feelings of self-hatred can flair up like arthiritis or anger, and we have to be prepared to stand in our self-forgiveness. Re-feeling frustration towards our past doesn’t mean we haven’t forgiven ourselves, it’s just a reminder that we’re on a journey towards forgiveness. Sometimes, reminders of our past and who we were apart from who we now are may be the hardest part of letting go. But, with the help of Jesus, all things are possible.
At Vienna Presbyterian Church, we care, and we are here to help. Reach out to us for prayer and support. Give us a call on the church prayer line at (703) 938.9050, extension 301. If you’d like to worship with us live but aren’t able or just aren’t ready to make it out to a live service, you can watch along with our congregation live from home by clicking here.
February 12, 2018