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Forgiving Ourselves (1)

Why do so many of us beat ourselves up for old regrets long after we believe God has forgiven us? How could it be possible for us to find it easier to believe that God has forgiven us than to quit punishing ourselves for what we’ve done?

We’ve spent some time thinking about forgiving others. Now, as we continue to reflect on our conversations about letting others off the hook, I’d like to know why you think so many of us struggle even more with forgiving ourselves. Do you have any idea why the Bible doesn’t say more about showing mercy to ourselves?

Yeh, I know this might sound like playing God. If God wants us to pardon ourselves, why wouldn’t the Bible quote him as saying something like, “Even as I have forgiven you, I want you now to forgive yourselves.” Do you think this is worth thinking through together?

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14 Responses to “Forgiving Ourselves (1)”

  1. perschml says:

    I know I strugle with this alot. I have had some bad experiences and made some bad choices to which I know Christ has forgiven me, but I cant seem to let them go. Its like the devis is letting them loom over my head to make me second guess myself and make me worry…

    Forgiving ourselves is something that I think lots of people struggle with.

  2. charlie64 says:

    i don’t know why we struggle with forgiving ourselves.Perhaps we don’t feel worthy enough to do so even though we know God has forgivin us.maybe it is just to difficult to let go of the ‘wounds’ or perhaps we don’t know how!!

  3. 1voice says:

    Yes, I too have struggled with baggage from the past. It weighed me down until I didn’t know who I was any more. A few years back I read a book called “Ruthless Trust” by Brennan Manning that opened doors for me. I realized that God had already forgiven me, it was satan who kept me feeling guilty. The scriptures already have the answers all se have to do is “lay down” our burdens, meaning we have to relinquish control. “For I resolved to know nothing (to be aquainted with nothing and to be conscious of nothing) except of Jesus Christ…” 1Corinthians 2:2

  4. abalderama says:

    Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto three until seven times, but until seventy times seven – Although I realize that forgivness is tough for all individuals, I believe that our Father meant for us to know the latter. It is true, we are not to be doormats nor are we to treat others as doormats, it is at these times that we cast our cares to the Lord. It’s a daily effort as in be glad in the day that our Father made. Please remember that when he forgives us, he NEVER revisits it. God Bless everyone as we pray for forgiveness each day. Lord, forgive us OUR trespasses as we forgive THOSE who trespass against us. This is very necessary.

  5. Thomas Brown says:

    All true. I too struggle with this. I find that when satan comes at me with this pseudo guilt( you’re not forgiven or you’re not saved thing) I combat him with the Word and try to remember what my Dad used to tell me:If you were not saved satan would not be telling you the truth, as you might take his advice and get saved. Satan wants the unsaved to stay that way. The only One who will tell you that you are not saved is the Holy Spirit. As for past sins, how could God bring up something that He has forgotten. He can not lie. Satan will continue doing this until we leave this world by death or by rapture. We must trust God’s Word and not our emotions.
    In Christ,
    Thomas Brown

  6. Mart De Haan says:

    Hey, thanks so much for your honesty in a dimension of forgiveness that we all struggle with at times. I hope you will find the next few posts– and the responses from our friends– helpful.

  7. astoriagranny says:

    Speaking personally, this challenged me for many years; but now the Holy Spirit reminds me constantly that when Satan comes knocking at my door, I should just pray, “Jesus, would you get that for me?” and then I physicaly flick him off my shoulder and out of my ears. I compare this to another thought: If your neighbor hurts your feelings, and then every day for the next 30 years that same neighbor knocks on your door to ask for your forgiveness, wouldn’t it get a bit tiring? I then imagine that God would think it tiring, and at the very least, redundant, if I asked Him for forgiveness for the same things all of the time. He has forgiven me, why on earth would I not forgive myself, and allow the Blood of the Lamb to renew and refresh me each new day? I feel so blessed to be one of His own! I claim John 10:27-29 as my personal motto. I know that when God looks at me, He sees me through Jesus, and I’m as white as snow. It’s easier for me than reliving my past transgressions; and I think, makes me a lot more careful about future mistakes/sins.

  8. mpoteet says:

    Terrific comments, especially in how many of them acknowledge how the inability to forgive ourselves is the work of Satan. John 3:16 comes to mind with the ultimate gift – Jesus – whose name we call when overpowered by the control of evil in clouding our minds. Only Jesus can save us from the hatred of one who has a vested interest in ruining each and every day. My favorite way of dealing with feeling unforgiven is to remember that wonderful song, “Jesus Loves Me” and sing each and every verse!

  9. Ronnie Blanchette says:

    While we are busy not forgiving ourselve we can also contemplate that this may be an arrogance problem. There is something deep inside that wants to earn our way to heaven and sometimes this rears up as an inability to drop something long over with. Best medicine for me, to forgive others and myself, is to realize the object of my attention should be on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. It isn’t that the sin wasn’t really horrendous, its just that Christ sacrifice is of a person, God himself, of infinite worth and value and therefore all the sins that could ever be committed multiplied by infinite number cannot cost more than the life of Christ. You could compare all the sin of the world to a lighted match stick thrown into the Pacific Ocean of God’s sacrifice, and that would be only a poor example of the magnitude of the sacrifice. I think I insult my Savoir when I dwell on the sins of others against me or my sins against others that have been dealt with on the cross. Amazing grace indeed, what a wonderful powerful Savoir to make all things new.

  10. Mart De Haan says:

    Ronnie, I think your words honor well the inexpressible nature of the suffering and the sacrifice made for the least and worst of our sins.

  11. Mart De Haan says:

    mfpabijan, I think your point–brief as it is– is worth thinking a lot about.

  12. gnightingale says:

    I think some of not being able to forgive ourselves comes from “words”of intentional or unintentional condemnation from other christains.Listen to someone spout off verses from the bible like”by your words you will be aquitted or not”,and see if a person doesn’t have some seeds of condemnation get through your armour of grace.Shame has a way of high lighting God’s Word and many thoughtless words from another christain can damage an already wounded soul.We need to watch our words more (whether written or spoken)so that we would not harm one who has not fully grabbed the mercy of Jesus’nail scarred hand.We need to ask the Lord to heal and take control of our emotions when we stumble so that we can receive complete healing and not give the enemy of our souls opportunity to hurt us with his half truths.Satan has a way of using the bible against us,and we really need to understand fully God’s grace .Alot of great comments here by the way.

  13. LongRoad says:

    Refusing to forgive ourselves is twisted pride. Refusing to do what God has done, forgive us, is truly a form of self-centeredness and pride. Opening a door for spiritual attack.

    If we have truly repented of our sin(s) past (and as they occur), and have accepted the gift of forgiveness and salvation through Christ Jesus, then we deceive ourselves to continue in pride often cloaked in a false humility.

    We are telling God what we are doing (thinking, believing) is more than what He has already done.

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