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Forgiving Ourselves


Flickr Photo: by Liv who writes about a puppy who “rescued a human today”

We’ve talked in the past about what it takes to forgive ourselves. When we did, some of us had mixed feelings.

On one hand who hasn’t beaten up ourselves for things we’ve done in the past?

But then comes the question of whether forgiving ourselves is like playing God?

And, with yet another twist, if try to talk ourselves out of our emotions by asking “who are we to not forgive ourselves, if God has”—it can seem like we are adding insult to injury by implying that “a low view of ourselves” is actually rooted in wounded pride.

So while reading Seasons of the Soul by Bruce Demarest, I ran into some thoughts that seemed worth thinking about once again. The author suggested what many of us seem to have experienced, that sometimes we find it easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves.

Then he quoted several others.

First Mr. Demarest recalled C. S.Lewis observing that, when we fail to forgive ourselves after Christ has forgiven us, we establish ourselves as a higher judge than God himself. Then he quoted a Thelma Hall, as saying that “Our sense of unworthiness is a subtle form of arrogance, whereby we choose not to forgive the one whom God has forgiven.”

The Seasons of the Soul author then writes that we would “do well to practice the converse of the Golden Rule: to do unto ourselves as we do to others,” and adds, “As noted by the Puritan Richard Sibbes, “The soul is cast down too much … when our mourning and sorrow bring us not to God, but drive us from God. Grief, sorrow and humility are good; but discouragement is evil.”

Then as if sensing that we might feel ourselves trapped and unable to lift ourselves up, Demarest gently urges us to remember that our Father in heaven is not put off by a child who asks for help…

Left me thinking that it might be worth considering together once again whether we can even forgive others— if we have not known what it means to forgive ourselves… as God has.

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110 Responses to “Forgiving Ourselves”

  1. Motorcycleminister says:

    There are many days I go through the “guilt” of my past. That is: how I treated my children and my ex-wife. When I start feeling this guilt I stop.. and ASK. Ask God, Seek Him, Knock. He provides me the peace and tranquility I need. He helps me overcome my guilt. He shows me that He has forgiven me. He tells me NOT to feel that guilt. When I admit and commit complete “remorse”, that is when that guilt goes away. It works for me and thanks to my Abba, my Father, my God, He continues to be there for me as I walk hand in hand with Him. God Bless to you all!

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Very pleased to see you able to return to the table Mart.

    Forgiving ourselves….

    Our Lord said as far as the east is from the west is how far he would put our sins from our relationship with Him.

    An old adage say’s “To err is human, to forgive Divine.”

    I wonder as I ponder this subject just how much of our past we hold on to, not ever really wanting to let go and move on.

    Some people just like to view themselves in a base and negative posture. Sadly it feeds some psychological need to hate themselves. This is a real and treatable condition and one that can make a person live a life of self-hate, even destruction.

    Such an individual needs desperately to seek God first and seek good medical help as well. Because we are all precious and special especially to our Lord.

    Apart and perhaps in tune with such a malady, forgiving ourselves may have a lot to do with what we are needing to forgive.

    If we have hurt another in any way we need to make atonement to that individual and receiving that persons forgiveness may aid us in forgiving ourselves. If we remain unforgiven by such a person it will retard and derail the process, but only as long as when the Holy Spirit intervenes and speaks healing into our heart and we know we have done all that is necessary in the eyes of God in the matter.

    This is a good healing subject I look forward to the conversation, but for now am out of time already.


  3. foreverblessed says:

    Once again I was thinking, we are living in the Spirit, that is the New Covenant:
    Which says: God will do His part, And… He will do our part, when we look in faith up to Him.

    So it is with forgiving ourselves…
    It reminds me of the Pilgrim’s progress, where the man walks with a backpack, full of sin and guilt. Wearied and tired trying to get rid of it.
    Till finally he looks up to the Cross, and all is taken away: He is free!!

    It is a miracle from God, that we can forgive ourselves.
    It is also the trouble with the bible, many commands are given: forgive your enemies, be you perfect..
    things we are unable to do in ourselves.
    And we take up that command as if we have to do it ourselves. In the Old Covenant way: God blesses us a s we do what He commands.

    When do we get to the point where we say: I am utterly unable, Lord help me, like motercycleminister wrote?!!

  4. cbrown says:

    God has provided the antidote. All we have to do is accept Him.

  5. joycemb says:

    A lifetime of regret often takes more than a few words to overcome. Some do “get it” immediately, but some not. That’s were the grace and patience of God softens the journey; whether self-hate, arrogance, or however you want to label the sin. The biggest sin is separation from God. For some it takes a while to ‘warm up’ to the fire of God’s love.

    Just roasting today…

  6. cbrown says:

    I am on that journey too Joyce but anything worth while comes from God and my trust in Him.John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Do you think Paul lived in a lifetime of regret?

  7. joycemb says:

    Chris the Bible doesn’t tell us how long Paul lived in regret. I’m sure it wasn’t overnite though. He did tell the Philippians though that His goal was to move forward in his faith life. Philippians 3:12-15 is a favorite passage for me.

  8. cbrown says:

    John 3:14-15New International Version (NIV)

    14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[a] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”[b]

    The journey continues but His Holy Spirit gives us the victory!

  9. joycemb says:

    Yes it does, Chris! The beloved Holy Spirit!

    Pauline theology does differ somewhat from the Apostles theology but not in essence. That essence being Christ Himself.

  10. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    This topic of forgiving self and others, it seems to me, causes anguish in human hearts. The pain is not limited to Jesus-followers. Humans seek a just balance in respecting ourselves and others, though we are powerless to bring about justice without God. Appreciate the idea Demarest expresses — Mart, you paraphrased:

    “Then as if sensing that we might feel ourselves trapped and unable to lift ourselves up, Demarest gently urges us to remember that our Father in heaven is not put off by a child who asks for help…”

    This may be the moment in the process of healing when proud flesh rises up rather than bowing down before the sovereign Creator of all things. If you or I do not come as little children before God, we cannot please God. Nobody lifts him/herself up. God must lift us up, like a parent bending down and taking a baby into His arms.

    Like Pilgrim, we carry a back-pack of old guilt and shame. Only in repentance and asking can you or I shrug off that load of old stuff at the foot of the cross of Christ. Jesus is so willing to remove the sin and to walk on with us to help us say NO to the temptations ahead.

    I’m with you, Motorcycleminister, when toxic old memories rear their ugly heads, we must remember steps one and two — confession and repentance — have been done. Prayer, thanksgiving and praise are a rinse and refreshing of our faith and hope in Jesus. How glorious to walk on with Him! He can always used damaged goods in His kingdom work.

    62F now — forecast to get to 90F later.

    Blessings all day.

  11. joycemb says:

    “Left me thinking that it might be worth considering together once again whether we can even forgive others— if we have not known what it means to forgive ourselves… as God has”

    We can and must forgive ourselves and others, yet, there is justice in the world, given by God, that must be satisfied also. In our Christian worldview we often forget that forgiveness does not mean we bang our heads again and again against someone’s ideology that causes harm; be they a pedophile, rapist, or one given to slander and abuse in general. Sometimes separation, like jail is what’s needed to teach/train in the ways of obeying the laws and God, hopefully. I have forgiven my father who was sentenced to 2 years in a mental health facility for horrible things he did to many people in my family and others. Yet, when he came away from there he had not changed, thus it was wise to stay far away from him. Thanks to God for prayers answered he did profess faith in Christ just 6 weeks before he died. I am so grateful for God’s grace and mercy. Yet I even believe it was God’s mercy to take him home shortly after his conversion. It’s hard to imagine the years of asking forgiveness it would have taken to his hundreds of victims. He did apologize to me though even after I had told him many times in many ways I had forgiven him and that God had made it possible.

    Those who deal with toxic memories, I hear you! I’ve had my share too as I didn’t become a Christian until I was 30 and the memories of how I abused my children, emotionally and physically at times haunts me also. Yet Christ! Seeing Him again and again with blood dripping from the cross of my forgiveness gives me courage to press on, as Paul said.

    90F here also today! So thankful for the central air Hud put in for us last fall!

  12. Motorcycleminister says:

    Wow!! All of your comments and experiences are so inspiring. God BLess you ALL… Barry

  13. jeff1 says:

    It certainly causes anguish in my heart for I struggle with it daily and the only way I can deal with it is to trust God. I leave my anguish in God’s hands and do not think of it or if it raises its head I distract myself from thinking of it. When you live in a Country where forgiveness is so very difficult you settle for forgetting wrongs instead of addressing them. Time is a healer, when forgiveness cannot be given a new generation can bring about the changes the previous generation could not address. They do not carry the scars and so can start afresh from those who still are haunted by their memories. Thinking about the apostle Paul, God did not deliver him from his thorn in the side so we sometimes have to live with consequences and learn from them.

  14. joycemb says:

    Viv you seem to carry the weight of your country’s sins on your shoulders as I carry the weight of my families sins on mine. It’s easy to say, all is forgiven; yet we, just as Paul, still carry the scars of our humanity in the body. Like a wise person said to me once- We’re not Home yet. Oh to be ABOVE all the troubles of this world; yet the Bible says to be in the world but not of it. That’s the tension we live in but in the meantime God has His plans and maybe or maybe not are we a part of them. Sometimes just hugging the cross is enough for me. Like holding Jesus’ hand. He’s enough.

  15. joycemb says:

    Hello Barry(motorcycle minister ) whew glad you put Barry it took me a while to be able to post your handle.
    I don’t know if you’ve posted before, I’ve been here about 1 1/2 years only but glad to know you. Do you minister to gangs or?

  16. joycemb says:

    “Prayer, thanksgiving and praise are a rinse and refreshing of our faith and hope in Jesus. How glorious to walk on with Him! He can always used damaged goods in His kingdom work.”

    Thanks for that Maru; love the metaphor, it makes me think of the washing of the Word. Cleansing refreshing and a start-over. Awesome

  17. jeff1 says:

    Yes Joyce, I leave my worries in God’s hands because they are safe in His keeping.

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

    In this world of fear and doubt
    On my knees I ask the question
    Why a lonely, heavy cross I must bear
    Then He tells me in my prayer
    it’s because I am trustworthy
    He gives me strength far more than my share

  18. SFDBWV says:

    In checking my notes I see Barry (Motorcycleminister) has been here for as long as I. It is good to see Barry you are still among us. There are so many that have become silent here all I can do is wonder.

    In thinking this morning it occurred to me that Chris may be more qualified to speak of the matter, but one of the more famous statements given from a judge to a person about to enter prison is that during the time they spend behind bars they reflect on what they have done and emerge a better person.

    The thought reminded me of the fact that some people keep themselves overly busy in life so that they don’t have time to think about other things, especially past errors or mistakes or things that they just would rather forget.

    It actually works pretty well for them, except that is if God intervenes and reminds them of some un-forgiveness they may harbor and then it becomes an unction from God to correct the matter.

    People though who are not able to keep busy or in the aforementioned case are incarcerated have little time for anything except reflecting on their past and with that past mistakes they anguish over.

    The “good news” is that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted to free us all from our self-made prisons and let us taste the free air of freedom from them.

    You have to look forward in order to move on in life, looking back only keeps you stagnant. Take each day as if it is the only day and do all you can to make another’s life better in it. You will soon not only realize God has forgiven and forgotten your past sins, you too will soon realize that only by living as a better person because of Christ and perhaps because of you past mistakes that you can be freed of guilt.

    Keep them eyes upon Christ.


  19. poohpity says:

    Being trapped by the past like the dog behind the fence stops me from pressing forward. I know that it is good to “glance back” like looking at the rear view mirror in a car to see what I came from and learning not to repeat the same mistakes but what a wreck it causes if I am continually looking in the rear view mirror and not at what lies ahead.(Luke 9:62 NLT; Phil 3:13 NASB; Hebrews 6:1) As Paul says which I know to be true is that it is a process to forgive myself and the enemy likes nothing better than distract me by bringing up past issues that God has tossed away but brings into my memories to load me with guilt and shame so I can not be moved forward.

    There was nothing as glorious as when I first learned that I had been forgiven by God, I felt light as air but the minute I took my eyes off of what Christ has done to focus on self again the burdens seem overwhelming. Depression, hopelessness, sorrow rather than joy, gratitude and hope. But it is a process of looking around at the storms or making the choice to focus on the one who allows me to walk on water and to overcome. Have I gotten there completely yet, no and it does not help when others bring up my past to hold it against me. The worse mistake I make is to listen to them rather than to God.

  20. poohpity says:

    My heart bleeds for what the Dugger’s are going through. Talk about how bringing up the past for no good reason except to discredit, smear and mutilate a Christian family and the aww so worse part of it, is that Christians who have received the gift of forgiveness, grace and mercy that brings about changed lives are right there doing it too. :-(

  21. street says:

    been thinking about forgiving ourselves.
    i wonder if the difficulty is propagated by the idea of being a repeat offender? some how it is a futile attempt to manage the ignorance and evil we struggle with in our walk. in our errant walk we discover this amazing thing called grace that dawns on us when we look past ourselves. job had great difficulty in this and found something bigger and a greater understanding when he looked past himself and found other in the same boat and still looked further than he ever looked before. he saw because he was focused on truth and his faith in the One who is able to help. there is no biological reason or common sense approach to God, but He is the reward of all who seek Him with their whole heart. the really wonderful things is being found by those who where not looking! He never ends with the surprises! and the real surprise is His love.

  22. joycemb says:

    ” He is the reward of all who seek Him with their whole heart”

    I don’t myself seek God with my whole heart but with as much as I can give Him sometimes. What do I withhold? The parts I am ashamed of maybe. Yes, forgiving myself is a process while I seek to learn everyday just how forgiving his love is. I know all the Bible verses but have to trust Him more each day it seems.

    Pooh I think judging other Christians or unbelievers in the culture is pointless. We CAN pray for them to understand this magnificent love we all struggle with though. If we know them well and are in close contact a friend is worth their weight in gold if they confront because they care. I confront you pooh because I care; and expect those who care about me to be honest also in hopes it will draw me closer to understanding the great love of God. Joyce

  23. joycemb says:

    Pooh you brought up how bringing up your past causes you great pain. I apologize if I have offended/hurt you by bringing up your past. I don’t recall it and searched back one moring a couple hours trying to find my post where I had “thrown it up in your face” and when I asked you to show it to me you wouldn’t or couldn’t as it didn’t exist I’m thinking. But, if it exists in your mind, please forgive me. I mean it. Please forgive me. I can be insensitive at times. I’m not perfect either ;-)

  24. street says:

    sfbwv said,”I wonder as I ponder this subject just how much of our past we hold on to, not ever really wanting to let go and move on.”

    made me think of holding on to the most important thing.
    sometimes the things we hold on too preclude us from more important things. job ditch his former thinking about God when He encountered Him and paul decided it it was all rubbish. “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,” the next couple of verses do not make the person reading it think it is a cake walk.

    about the past….it is all important! it’s just more important to abide then be controlled, worried, or overwhelmed by the past present or future. easier said.
    God still whispers, speaks, and controls our circumstances. He said, ” all things are mine.”

  25. street says:

    joycmb said.”” He is the reward of all who seek Him with their whole heart”

    He is the treasure hidden in a field/ wilderness. or earthen ware. the treasure hunt is on!

  26. joycemb says:

    Street AMEN!

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    We all should learn from our past because experience is such a great teacher.
    If we did not have a past to show us how many times we walked outside of God’a Will, or ignore that past because He has forgiven us, as He sees that past trespass no longer, but then we find it pulling us back to only repeat the past, only to find the victory of grace/forgiveness repeated as well, then, our repentance has not fully achieved.
    To me, true repentance is a turning away from that which had separated us from God, leaving it behind, and returning back to the Father.

    Failing to learn from the past is like a dog who returns to its vomit, or a freshly washed pig to the mire, like one who forgets from how far they have fallen.

    To me, Victory in Jesus, is victory over not repeating our past, not forgetting it either, but pressing on until we reach that past unreachable in ourselves, and finding there in us is Christ, to bring us to the glorious finish line.

    It is throwing the nets back in the water even though we have just spent ourselves all night without any success, but upon hearing the word, press on, you put them out again and find a catch so large, we need help to bring it home.

    May our boats all be filled today, but not by giving up on trying, but by giving in to the One who watches over us all.


  28. SFDBWV says:

    I want to remind myself that the subject is “Forgiving Ourselves”.

    In Law there are two types of offences, one against the state the other against individuals.

    Looking at sin as a violation of God’s “law” I see it in the same way.

    Violation of either offences is a violation of both, but carry connected, yet different, methods of justice.

    Being guilty of either type of offence carries with it a “debt” to society and when applicable to the individual as well.

    In the case of law there are set punishments outlined that satisfies the debt owed the “state”, and more freedom given justice in repaying some areas of individual offence.

    The debt owed to God for our offences was paid in full by Jesus of Nazareth on the cross at Calvary. The debt we may owe and individual while satisfied in the eyes of God by Christ, may need the added gift of forgiveness from the individual before we can feel fully forgiven and so able to forgive ourselves.

    Just one reason why we as Christians are to forgive others and be peace makers.

    Offering peace to someone needing release from guilt.

    In the OT law if a person makes every attempt to settle the matter between them and another with witnesses and still “unforgiven” that individual is freed of guilt in the eyes of the law.

    I think the same can be said today and in the confines of this subject.

    If we continue to harbor feelings of guilt it may be because of un-forgiveness we still harbor in our hearts. It is never too late to make amends.

    But the Judge of all things has already forgiven you because of His own sacrifice. Honor that sacrifice and know you are set free of the debt you owed Him, forgive others and receive peace.


  29. jeff1 says:

    Very well said Steve, the un-forgiveness I still harbor in my heart is towards faceless terrorists and men in my Country whose hearts I believe have not changed, I have judged them by their words and actions. Only God knows the heart of these men so I am wrong for holding on to this grudge. The difficult part for me is that I still have to live in this Country where I was born and bred and feel it is very much my tempory home. It hurts be greatly when I see what they are doing to it, not only because it is wrong but because I have a family and I do not want the war that affected myself and others to be their war too. I have stopped watching the news and reading newspapers, in a nutshell I live in a bubble so as to free myself from the hypocrisy I see in the media. I have accepted God’s forgiveness for my sin of un-forgiveness but it is I who suffer not being able to let go of it. It robs me of the joy I should feel towards God and others! Some days I feel I am gaining ground but I still hear others talk of what is in the media and find it upsetting. The only way I receive complete peace is to forgive others completely but this really is a thorn in my side and perhaps like Paul it will remain so for I owe men nothing and they owe me nothing for it is in Christ and Christ alone I have my being. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

  30. poohpity says:

    Joyce, what I wrote yesterday had nothing to do with you and as to our previous problem that you apologized for that was already forgiven publicly as well as privately I thought that was taken care of? Sad that there seems to be a doubt on your part that you said it because you did not go far enough back to reread it, so was the previous apology for nothing and now I am a liar on top of all the other names you have bestowed on me.

    Just another FYI I was not judging believers or unbelievers about the Duggers just expressing how I felt reading what people had written about him as applied to this topic. Also thinking that your confrontation had anything to do with your care for me rather than coming to me one on one is not care at all but another attempt to demoralizing me with public criticism and judgement that in and of itself was to boast ego not to help me.

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    Forgiveness to me comes in two different planes, one type is spiritual and the other one material or worldly.

    One, is when we ask God to release us, and the other we ask man or self to release.

    Must the two planes meet, or come together for forgiveness to be complete?

    We know the Law of the Land, when broken, brings its justice through punishment, not forgiveness.

    To me,, the law of Grace which is Spiritual, gives forgiveness through the Spirit of Grace alone, removing the guilt, and there is only the material consequences let for us to then suffer.

    Punishment given by the Law of the Land, may be served to the full, as the captive physically released after serving, but it can not remove the guilt.

    Praise God, that only He can both forgive us and remove the guilt.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    Don’t we all wish the fullness of forgiveness comes when we ask for it, when in reality, it only comes when the other forgives?

  33. joycemb says:

    No Gary I think you are wrong about that. Christ’s sacrifice does cover all sins and especially those who wrongly condemn others. Though I have tried in various ways to get along with pooh here it will never go as I’d like it to. It’s just too complicated and our personalities do not understand each other. I do not wish to have friends who harm just for the sake of brotherly love, but for Christ, and I hate to see Satan win a battle. But it is hard to let go when I love this blog yet am confronted by Pooh every day. My tension is to leave the ‘church’ I love or to continue to have deal with her. It just sickens me there is nor can there be any Godly resolution to this problem for me. Though I know from study and experience it will always be impossible to get along with her. I guess even God can’t fix this problem. I could just cry.

    I have met so many wonderful people/friends here and love Marts posts so it just seems a shame. I think it best to ignore you, Pooh, but maybe it IS Gods will for me. It’s just that I know how deep/ wide is His love for you. Pooh you are in no danger of losing Gods love and I wish you the best of God the rest of your days here, and I do look forward to seeing you when we pass from this life; with our new and glorified selves! Yay to see each other as we really are in the New Jerusalem! What a reunion that will be!

  34. poohpity says:

    Mart, when considering your last paragraph I think that holds true with many characteristics and actions of our faith walk. Unless I understand the grace I have been shown, how will I ever be able to show that to others; the same with forgiveness, mercy or love. I know I did nothing to earn or deserve what God has given me in any of those areas, I did deserve punishment and alienation from God but that was not what He did. He pursued me to show me something that is far greater than I could understand or imagine with my human mind, heart or soul. So me thinking I need to punish myself by holding on to unforgiveness and berating myself being a form of arrogance I see how that applies to being self centered.

  35. joycemb says:

    Street you said he is the TREASURE hidden, that’s a great reminder. A treasure, not a law-giving judge. It holds special meaning to me today. Thank you

  36. jeff1 says:

    There is coming a day, when no heartaches shall come
    No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye
    All is peace for evermore, on that happy golden shore
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
    And I look upon his face,
    The One who saved me by his grace;
    When he takes me by the hand,
    And leads me through the Promised Land.
    What a day, glorious day that will be.
    There’ll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
    No more sickness, no more pain, no more parting over there,
    But for ever I will be with the one who died for me,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    What a day that will be, when my Jesus I will see
    When I look upon his face, The One who saved me by his grace,
    But when He takes me by the hand and leads me to the Promised Land,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    Oh I’ve got a longing, I’m homesick to go
    To a land without heartache
    No more sorrow or woe
    There’s nothing that can hold me in this world below
    I’m homesick for Heaven, I’ve got a longing to go

    What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see
    When I look upon his face The One who saved me by his grace
    But when he takes me by the hand and leads me through the Promised Land
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

  37. joycemb says:

    Thank you today to ODB ministries and especially Our Daily Journey for giving my spirit the boost it needed today. God is always good and a wonderful treasure.

  38. joycemb says:

    Pooh my prayer for you is 1. That God would enlarge your borders (your sphere of Godly influence). 2. That He would give you everything you don’t deserve.

  39. street says:

    been thinking about doing unto other as you would they would do unto you. if you are really hard on yourself i guess you can think you could be really hard on others. some how i think this is fatally flawed thinking. my shoes and understanding just are not that big. there is a better way, they ancient path.

    i would think if you were really tight or close with God you could ask Him for help. the fun part is the freedom that God can employ to answer our prayers. may your faith be as small as a mustard seed.

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I see what you are saying.

    I was trying to say, that if God forgives us, we are forgiven.

    But, if we do not receive it, does it matter, or is it still complete, or lacking its true purpose or fullness?

    Is forgiveness dependent on the recipient?

    When we forgive another who does not, or can not, or will not acknowledge or receive it from us, and only finds ways to further frustrate us, or ignore us, do we feel a sense of victory or failure, or does it not matter at all?

    Maybe I am confusing this issue with reconciliation a bit, but if nothing changes, nothing changes.

    How blessed we are when we can receive the gifts given to us, deserved or not, and how pathetic when we can’t.

    What good is any grace given, if ignored, if not taken seriously, or abjectly rejected by the one it is bestowed upon?

    What purpose has Christ provided for taking on the sins of the world, for a world who does not, can not, and will not recognize Him, or know how to benefit from His gift.

    I understand your frustration of dealing with a seemingly unending battle, seeing an only no resolve situation, and not because you have not humbled yourself, but because it only seems to have served you alone, instead of the problem going away, it returns with a vengeance, like a pulled tooth that still hurts.

    But, we all must know this, our healing will be complete, it does not depend on others here, it only depends on God working in and through us.

    You are healed, even if the offending scar is still visible.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  41. joycemb says:

    Thanks Gary and street for your observations. My gift is mercy as The Lord just reminded me this morning just so I wouldn’t get too down on myself. I have been told by pastors I have a STRONG mercy gift so whats normal for me is not for someone who has, say, the gift of prophecy, which I don’t! But the gifts are always evolving and getting better and deeper into what God thinks. ‘His ways are so far past knowing’ it says somewhere in the Bible. We get little glimpses and as Street says all we need to believe and I think hang on is faith the size of a mustard seed. I used to have a mustard seed necklace, haven’t seen one in years but I love the metaphor.

  42. narrowpathseeker says:

    Isn’t there a difference between forgiving self and regret? I think I forgive myself for my countless offenses over the years, but I still feel genuine regret for some that I have hurt… On the other hand there are people that I have offended back and I am truly sorry that I have offended God in doing so and ask forgiveness ONLY because God requires it but have no genuine remorse in regard to that person.

    On that same hand…..feelings and actions are separate too I believe…as I can remember helping to care for my ex-husband who was ungrateful for all that I did and unremorseful for ALL he had ever done to me as well. It was a daily struggle and much prayer for strength to do what I believed God wanted me to do. I did it but what I FELT like doing can’t be put in print. BUT, God has Blessed me beyond anything I EVER expected for doing this deed I did NOT want to do.. so what IS forgivness…really?

  43. joycemb says:

    Hey Pearl! I think forgiveness often times is a process. I too went through an abusive-well-a couple longterm abusive relationships, and at the time it was daily forgiving but later through the years when thinking of them what comes up for me is wondering do I have to forgive again? Reminders of the pain caused by others can trick us I think into believing we haven’t forgiven at all. I don’t think that’s the case, I think the enemy loves to taunt. Suffering does hurt though, and I don’t think the feeling the pain of suffering is a sin, it just is. Pain. Sometimes again and again and again. Thank God that love is long-suffering.

  44. joycemb says:

    Someone a long time ago told me to embrace the pain. Then when I finally embraced it asked me how long I was going to hang on to it. It think forgiving oneself is complex and what’s real and true can be twisted around many different ways. Like on a roller-coaster that won’t quit!

  45. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I know the roller coaster feeling…it coincides with the quip that we learn something new everyday…even if it is to learn that what we learned yesterday was wrong.

  46. narrowpathseeker says:

    I wish someone could clearly define love, hate, regret, guilt and forgiveness as to the degree of “feeling” involved. If I FEEL like I HATE someone and would LIKE to knock them into tomorrow, BUT I DO good unto them and I am very honest about it…and I tell God I am sorry for the way I feel and pray for that person..do I love or hate that person?

  47. narrowpathseeker says:

    I did something to my Dad as a young teen that haunted me in my young adulthood. I did everything I could to make up for it to them as a young mother…for years. My Dad was always telling me to slow down and rest..I had done enough. I told him something like I had been a lousy kid to him and Mom and that I needed to make up for it…I would never tell him what…THEN awhile before he died we were talking and he really wanted to know what I had done that drove me to work so hard for them. I finally told him and he cried that it had bothered me so badly…he forgave me…and I KNOW I more than made up for it, but when I think of it …I feel bad that I hurt my Dad like that and I wish I hadn’t of done it… I forgive myself…I just have much remorse…I don’t think that is guilt.. OK..I’m just rambling…

  48. joycemb says:

    Oh Pearl what a sweet story. I wanted to cry for you both! What love! Both of you. Yet, I too have my regrets and many on death row I’m sure have regrets also. It’s a human condition I think. It takes courage and grace to keep on living. First grace from God then the grace we give ourselves as we forgive ourselves. No matter how deeply we probe like Marts examples we are all bothered in to one degree or another by past mistakes/sins, don’t you think? Or am I a hopeless romantic in search of adventure? Or drama. Just me, I’m rambling too…

  49. jeff1 says:

    I think some people find forgiving easier than others depending on their character. When I was at secondary school there was this teacher who took a dislike to me and my friend and gave us a difficult time in class.
    About seven years ago she recognised me and came over to speak to me very friendly, I could hardly answer her the anger I felt for the years she had made my life hell came back with avengence. My friend and I kept running into her a few times after that and my friend was the same school mate whom she had treated badly too. My friend did not feel how I felt towards her and engaged in conversations with her while I stayed silent.
    I asked my friend should I tell the teacher how I felt but she said too long had past and she would not understand where I was coming from. One time we were in conversation and she started to tell us how she had to give up teaching for both her children were partially blind and how much she had missed it. It was amazing how it changed how I felt towards her. I believed that she should never have been teaching because of her attitude towards us and hearing this I believed that God must have thought that too when she had to give it up. I realized then that I was the type of person who found it hard to forgive while my friend was not. This is why I need God’s forgiveness most because I know I am not the forgiving type. It is not something I like about myself but it is part of who I am. I believe it is more important to be honest with God about my shortcomings for I can not pretend to God that I am a forgiving person if in fact I am not. I do not believe that God wants me to be in denial as regards my weaknesses.

  50. cbrown says:

    If we pray and believe”forgive us our trespasses(debts) as we forgive those who trespass(debtors) against us for Thine is the kingdom the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen” then I believe we are really free.

  51. oneg2dblu says:

    Our perspective, our attitude, and how we act are more telling about who we are then what we may think we are, or claim to be.

    If you claim to be a good person, and you rap sheet is taller than you are, then your perspective and your attitude does not match what you do, or represent.

    You are then recognized by your fruit, not by what you may think, or say.

    Let’s say you may hate picking up after your neighbor, but you do it anyhow because you see the need to do it, then, are you acting on what you think you hate, or what you think is the better way for you to act?

    Your religion is not what you say, but it is, what you do.

    I can think of no better way to live right, then to actually live right.


  52. oneg2dblu says:

    I remember reading a C.S. Lewis writing that says he could not forgive a mean spirited school teacher he encountered in his youth, and he held on to this spirit of un-forgiveness toward them for over 60 years.
    But, when he was on his death bed, he suddenly found that the feelings he had tried to master himself all those years and failed to overcome, were finally given up.
    What a blessing he found in his last sickly moments, one he could not muster up all those years while he was still healthy.

    If C.S. Lewis had such a hard time with this issue, then we certainly should not take it lightly, or try to conquer it on our own.

    God knows all our battles and He knows why we have them.


  53. oneg2dblu says:

    Please don’t quote me on the 60 years number, but it was a lifelong time of regretting having an attitude of which he was not proud of possessing.

  54. joycemb says:

    Chris I think you are right. I try to pray this daily but it’s easy to get sidetracked by life. I very much respect you because of the type of ministry work you do. If you did not believe what you just said, how could you minister to prisoners? Thank you.

  55. cbrown says:

    Joyce,I believe it and start each day off going to God seeking his direction. When I fail I go to Him confess my sin and repent knowing that he has forgiven me and then I continue the journey Holy.

  56. cbrown says:

    “His” direction.

  57. poohpity says:

    “How Can It Be”

    I am guilty
    Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
    These hands are dirty
    I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

    You plead my cause, you right my wrongs
    You break my chains, you overcome
    You gave your life to give me mine
    You say that I am free
    How can it be, how can it be?

    I’ve been hiding
    Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
    That you still love me
    But in your eyes there’s only grace now

    You plead my cause, you right my wrongs
    You break my chains, you overcome
    You gave your life to give me mine
    You say that I am free
    How can it be, how can it be?

    Though I fall, you can make me new
    From this death I will rise with you
    Oh, the grace reaching out for me
    How can it be, how can it be?

    You plead my cause, you right my wrongs
    You break my chains, you overcome
    You gave your life to give me mine
    You say that I am free
    How can it be, how can it be?

  58. street says:

    been thinking how ahab found mercy before God and paul did too, the chief of all sinners! if He can show mercy to these two He will be generous with us too. one thing He made very clear if you do not forgive He will not either. that will leave you in a dangerous place. like paul, leave the rubbish behind and press on.

  59. street says:

    Psalm 32

  60. poohpity says:

    “In the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.” – Andy Stanley

  61. foreverblessed says:

    Street was saying, June 11, 10.59 am, do unto others as you do unto yourself. When you are hard on yourself you are hard on others. So the saying does not work.
    I have been thinking lately,
    Love others as yourself, is the overall idea behind the Law of the Old Covenant. It also does say: the Law and the Prophets are till John the Baptist.
    Jesus came, and as Moses said Deut 18:18, when the Prophet comes you listen to Him,
    And Jesus gave us a new Command:
    Love others as I have loved you.

    I do believe that that new commandment goes much deeper.
    It takes a lifetime to find out what Jesus has done for us: He took up all our sins on the cross, all our shortcomings, all our fears, distrust, everything that went wrong in us. Looking to the Cross in faith every morning, feel the magnetic powers that draw everything out of us, bit by bit, that is not good, that is flawed!

    Paul would know nothing but the Cross!

    So we start the day new every morning, cleansed and washed.

    The other thing Jesus does, is giving His life in us, His love, His forgiveness, His grace.
    Our old man cannot forgive, we need His forgiveness.
    All though Jesus said, “if you do not forgive” it sounds like that we could on our own. The only thing we can say is: Lord I want to forgive, help me my unforgiveness.
    So, yes every morning we ask more of that, as we need it.
    I pray Narrow, that you will find that relief from guilt.
    Free in Christ!

  62. jeff1 says:

    I believe in this life some of us are nearer to God’s ways and some of us are very aware of Satan depending on our own walk. Paul had committed what humans believe to be the worst sin so He was much more aware of what it was to walk with Satan. A lot of Christians today decide their sin is not so bad compared to others who have committed what humans consider to be unforgiveable sins. I know I did it myself and I hear others still thinking the same way. It was deceiving myself and it took me a lifetime to see I was the greatest sinner of all. When you discover that you where the greatest sinner of all then you see others in a much different light than you did before. You are now aware that the people who think this way are more in need of Christ’s forgiveness for they have listened to and been led by false teachers. When I was going astray myself I was listening to Preachers who were quoting from the Bible an eye for an eye and having this instilled in me in my early years has meant that it still raises its ugly head today. I have learned that it is God alone who knows a man’s heart and it is not for me to judge for God could be working in someone’s heart (a terrorist, a criminal, a Christian, an unbeliever) as I speak just like He works in mine and that is the mistake I make to persume to know what God is doing in another when I am still a work in progress myself.

  63. Motorcycleminister says:

    Hello joycemb. To answer your question: I read Marts’ articles just about everyday. I usually do not write anything. This article is one that touches my heart as I am sure everyone has issues with guilt and forgiveness. I minister mostly in the prisons here in Florida. I sometimes go in the prison with my motorcycle. There are occasions where there are secular motorcycle gatherings. God has Blessed me with this ministry and I hope that I am Faithful to Him to continue to share His Love to others. God Bless. Barry

  64. cbrown says:

    Barry, what prisons do you serve at? We may cross paths at a volunteer banquet.I serve in Region 2 in Florida. Chris

  65. poohpity says:

    When I am overcome with regret or shame over the many, many areas I have failed in I focus on how Jesus treated Peter. Wow! Jesus told Peter he would deny Him but Peter said, “never”. Then as Peter completed the denial process(sifting of Satan) Jesus looked over at Peter and remembering, Peter wept probably down to his toes in sorrow(Luke 22:61-62 NLT). Jesus rather than kicking Peter when he was down after His Resurrection under the shadow of the Cross restored their relationship. What a Holy thing forgiveness is. It is not mentioned whether after receiving that forgiveness that Peter was consumed with regret but it sure does show over and over how Peter understood grace, mercy and forgiveness speaking boldly and telling others about what he had experienced for himself.(Acts 2:38)

  66. joycemb says:

    Great example Pooh!

  67. jeff1 says:

    True forgiveness is also rare for during the troubles here there was a man whose daughter was killed in an IRA bomb. He forgive the bombers for the atrocity which killed 11 and injured 63. No one could understand how he could forgive them as there was no remorse on their part so it is a very individual act to forgive. I wish I could say I could publicly announce that I forgive them if it were my child but the truth is that I would struggle to forgive privately never mind publicly. Thank goodness God allows us to be individuals and a forgiven not forgotten child of God.

  68. poohpity says:

    I know it helped me a lot to know what forgiveness is and what it is not and our forgiveness is not like God’s.

    God’s forgiveness as told in the Bible; Psalm 103:11-13 NIV; Psalm 32:5; Isaiah 38:17, 43:25; Hebrews 9:26

    In that I learned that forgiveness is not; saying the offense was right or I will ever forget but it is admitting to it and giving up the right to punish. There will always be consequences to the choices I have made and if I hold unforgiveness in my heart it is not harming the person that I have not forgiven it is harming me and my relationship with God. That person may never know the bitterness I hold but I know and God knows so it is not punishing them in anyway but it is punishing me.

    I know what it is like to experience forgiveness and when I feel remorse over something I did which helps me discern when another is remorseful over something they did but even if they aren’t, forgiveness does not depend on the other person admitting anything it depends on my heart and my heart being accountable to God.

  69. poohpity says:

    Mart those you referenced are right about if I do not know forgiveness myself or for myself how can I give it to anyone else.

  70. poohpity says:

    How can one give away something we do not posses or know.

  71. jeff1 says:

    Yes it does depend on my heart but I cannot lie to God about what is in my heart. If I feel wronged by terrorists and that is what is in my heart then I have to admitt that it is coming between God and I. Their evil deeds have caused atrocities which have hurt not just myself but many people and hurt does not just go away because I want it to go away, I wish I could forget and move on and so does most ordinary people but you have to be born and bred in this Country to understand the hurt that still remains in peoples hearts because of the onslaught of evil which took place. Most people I know have faith and trust God that there is reasons why many are persecuted today but unresolved murders means that many will never see justice in this world. Many live with the scars and it is their faith in Christ that keeps them enduring, we have no faith in men anymore for Governments have come and gone but it is in God we trust for we have learned the hard way that men make promises they cannot keep.

  72. poohpity says:

    Today I saw this on “Do You Believe?” and thought it would bless you as much as it did me.

    While praying one day a woman asked, “Who are you God?” He answered, “I AM.” but who is “I AM?” she asked.

    He replied, “I Am Love, I Am Peace, I Am Grace, I Am Joy, I Am Strength, I am Shelter, I Am Safety, I Am Power, I Am the Creator, I Am the Comforter, I Am the Beginning and the End, I Am the Way, Truth and the Light.” With tears in her eyes she looked toward heaven and said, “Now I understand but who am I?” God tenderly wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered, “You are Mine”.

  73. jeff1 says:

    That is what I need to know more than anything that I am His, so thank you so much Pooh for this reminder today and it is a blessing which I badly needed.

  74. poohpity says:

    jeff1, can you change anything the terrorists or the government has done? How does holding on to those hurts help anyone or cause them to even consider what they have done? Do you believe that God will eventually take care of it all? Do you know that allowing them to take up so much space in your mind and in your heart will cause depression, anxiety, bitterness, anger to well up within you and not do a darn thing to them?

  75. SFDBWV says:

    Who Am I in Christ;

    Romans 8:16 A child of God
    Ephesians 2:8 Saved by grace through faith
    Psalms 107:2 Redeemed from the hand of the foe
    1 John 5:11, 12 an heir of eternal life
    Ephesians 1:7 Forgiven
    Romans 8:14 Led by the Spirit of God
    2 Corinthians 5:17 A new creature
    Galatians 3:13 Redeemed from the curse of the law
    Isaiah 46:4 Kept in safety wherever I go
    Ephesians 6:10 Strong in the Lord and His mighty power
    2 Corinthians 5:7 Living by faith and not by sight
    Colossians 1:13 Rescued from the dominion of darkness
    Romans 5:1 Justified
    Romans 8:17 An heir of God and co-heir with Christ
    Ephesians 1:3 Blessed with every spiritual blessing, an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb
    Revelation 12:11 And the Word of my testimony
    Matthew 5:14 The light of the world
    Ephesians 5:1 An imitator off God
    1 Peter 2:24 Healed by His wounds
    Romans 12:2 Being transformed by the renewing of my mind


  76. bubbles says:

    jeff1: I am saddened to read what has happened in your country. It’s a lovely place from the pictures I’ve seen, and I wish the bad things had never happened there.

  77. jeff1 says:

    What you say is true Pooh my dwelling on it does harm to me and not to them and I do try now to focus on what is good in my life like my faith, family, friends, and charity work. I stay clear of conflict issues and I find it easier that way. It still saddens me to hear that 17 years into the peace process that Politicians are still playing games while ordinary people try to get on with each other in living their lifes. Yes Bubbles it is a lovely place, C S Lewis was born here and spent his early childhood in Belfast. We do get a lot of American visitors since the Titantic Centre was opened in Belfast so life is getting better again but the rural areas where I come from have been neglected because the sadly Politicians cannot agree to disagree.

  78. poohpity says:

    Viv, I too share in your sadness it is not just there but all over the globe currently and seems to be getting worse everyday and like you I will keep my eyes on the Lord who knows. If we can not even keep civility here on the blog it sure doesn’t give me any consolation to depend on any person for peace any place else, it seems really futile. Keep our eyes on Jesus and look full into His wonderful face then the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. That is why I spend so much time in His Word, looking to Him.

  79. joycemb says:

    just thinking..
    I’m wondering how shame affects forgiving ourselves?
    Even after becoming a Christian it took me years to overcome the shame of my past, even though I had forgiven myself and sought forgiveness of those I had wounded. The world doesn’t forgive or forget easily. And we are in the world.

    I guess I’m answering my own question. Jesus Said “But I have overcome the world.” I’m thinking developing a trust relationship with Jesus takes a while but the journey is sure worth it, because we know how this life ends!

  80. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Those saying that we all have fallen short of the glory of God are offering part of the key to forgiving ourselves, it seems to me. The other part may be as Paul said even after he had done so much wrong to Jesus-followers:

    “I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.

    My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

    All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you. But we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed.” Phil 3:12-16

    Not sure we actually forget what is behind, but we allow God’s grace in Christ to flow into our hearts, displacing the darkness of guilt and shame. It seems to me Jesus leads us away from despair and toward hope — on and on and on…


  81. poohpity says:

    I was confused for a long time that I had to feel loved or forgiven but neither love or forgiveness is something to feel, it is something to do. Forgiveness just as love is, are actions and a knowing. Who feels like forgiving those who have offended us or who feels like loving an enemy but if I look at it as an action of my choices to do good those who have hurt or done me wrong eventually the feelings toward them will change.

  82. joycemb says:

    I agree loving and forgiving are choices we make. We make those choices based on what God has done for us; Father forgive them for the know not what they do, Jesus said while hanging from the cross. That prayer I use often. If it was good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for me. That puts the eyes on God and less on self. On that I am still working.

    Once going through a period of severe accusing by the enemy through some sisters in Christ who were jealous of the attention I got when I shared about a deep healing I’d received I was feeling so down, then Jesus showed me (in the Spirit) his hand with the scar from his execution. I will never forget that. no words, just his nail-scarred hand.

    Suffering is the norm for followers of Christ. Our scars are precious to Him as signs of the battles we’ve fought and WON, all because of Jesus. The world may hate us and not understand, but we know Who holds the future and it’s in His capable, nail-scarred hands.

  83. jeff1 says:

    Yes Pooh, We have to take the first step to reconcillation and if our enemies do not follow then we leave it in God’s hands, sadly though that’s where men tend to fall down for they take it in to their own hands and convince themselves it is God’s will. I really do believe if women were in more powerful jobs the world would be a better place because we are more peacemakers. I hope I have not upset anyone by this comment but I am thinging what a man I worked with said to me and he believed that it was men who did the most vile deeds and that women were naturally less likely to do evil and I have to say I think there is a lot of truth in what he said. The rhyme goes boys are made of frogs, snails and puppy dog tales and girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice and there seems to be something about it. Does anyone have statistics that contradict what I have just said?

  84. joycemb says:

    We’ll, it was a woman who first took the apple from the Enemy. (Eve) and it was a Man (Jesus) who paid for Eves sin. I think any other stats are skewed toward worldly thinking and are flawed in that regard from the start from the start, although they can be useful at times for daily living reports.

  85. poohpity says:

    The only statistic that I have to contradict what you said Viv sadly is me. Woman can be deadly, vindictive, abusive and everything that a man can be, gender does not seem to be the issue at all. Nor does race, culture, nationality it is just the heart of mankind everywhere.

  86. poohpity says:

    Hey jeff1 I have taken the liberty to call you Viv I hope that is OK with you if not please let me know. My name is Deborah or just Deb. :-)

  87. poohpity says:

    Joyce, Adam was right there with to Eve. Genesis 3:6

    Viv, after my first husband knocked my eye through my eye socket with one punch I never let anyone hit me again and there was not a man that I would fear again. When my second husband choked me I stabbed him and was arrested for attempted murder in Oregon. I was arrested in Arizona, Ohio and Florida for obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct against men. I had many more things that the Lord forgave me for so it is not gender specific.

  88. joycemb says:

    just thinking,

    If Adam had not partaken with Eve, did he understand then that there would have been some sort of separation from Eve that he couldn’t bear? Or was he just that stupid to follow along? Just thinking…

  89. joycemb says:

    further on…
    The Bible doesn’t say anything about their thought process, so, were they not thinking when they listened to the snake? I think there is a lot here to think about when it comes to gender and humanity.

  90. poohpity says:

    Doesn’t the desire to make them wise show a thought process?

  91. joycemb says:

    Could be..

  92. joycemb says:

    Or lust. Lucifer fell because of his lust for power.

  93. joycemb says:

    Pooh I am so glad you surrendered your life to Jesus!

  94. joycemb says:

    On a side note…
    I wear a cross and hold on to it when I need wisdom or help! I saw a beautiful stencil wood cut figure of the crucifix at a re-sale shop yesterday and I’m getting it today, for my wall!

  95. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce…being that 5 out of my six children were sons…I’ve always tried to be fair in the gender equality business. I agree with you that statistics are skewed for worldly thinking…and I believe that to be true in countless areas. Moreover, I am afraid it is not for the sake of gaining equality but rather superiority over another group.

    I’m sorry that you dealt with jealous “sisters”, but that is where I have to question what makes a sister or a brother in Christ. If even “evil” people love those that love them…what kind of people are those that don’t even love people who love them? And I’m not talking about people that “SAY” they love everybody and “SAY” all the right things to make themselves out to be something they are not…those are liars and I don’t think of them as “sisters” or “brothers” either as they are liars and Jesus said that Satan is the father of lies. To me that would make liars children of satan and therefore not my sisters or brothers in Christ…but then we have to pray to love them anyway… ok..didn’t mean to go there…

  96. narrowpathseeker says:

    Forever, thank you for prayers for my feelings of guilt… I really appreciate that, however, I don’t think that my regrets are guilt or unforgiveness of myself. I know I more than made up for what I did and that my Dad would have forgiven me even if I hadn’t done a thing…I am also glad that I was able to confess to him what I had done.. I just feel sorrow for having done this and so many other hurtful things as a child not understanding that they were hurtful things.. I do not dwell on them, but when one of those memories come to mind(there are MANY) I shake my head and feel sorrow that I had done or said that, but then I move on with the day….it reminds me to be nice to someone.. Again, thank you for caring

  97. joycemb says:

    Pearl my thinking is that it’s tough to judge a persons heart when I know what’s in mine, ugh. We are all in the process, right? I have both good and bad stuff still. I think it was Peter who learned that it’s not what goes in the body but what comes out that counts. James said our mouth works both ways, to bless and to curse. Whew, it’s complicated isn’t it? I think I’ll just let Jesus sort it all our from now on.

    As far as those who condemned and criticized me I hope they too have learned to trust God in that He is real and still able to do what He says He can do. I think that is a process also. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever is a head scratcher sometimes, isn’t it?

    Wow! 5 boys and 1 girl to raise! My hat’s off to you, you are a genuine pearl, Pearl!

  98. joycemb says:

    Pearl as far as sins of the child go, I’ve had my share of regrets and wrongdoings also as a child, but Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s where I go now when reminded of something I did wrong and very much regret. Jesus is the same when we were young, as now when we are older. So cool, isn’t it?

  99. Motorcycleminister says:

    To Chris Brown:, To answer your question: I am in Region 3, however, I have gone to numerous prisons in region 2. The subject of guilt and forgiveness is discussed in many of my classes in prison. However, another subject that is very important in our change process is complete “remorse”. Blessings to All. Barry

  100. jeff1 says:

    Deb, I like being called Viv, thinking about what you said that it is the heart of mankind and nothing to do with gender, nationality etc. I suppose the more I think about it there are days that I am kinder than others, we all have our off days even if we don’t have good reason. I do find that other people can affect my mood though and wind me up and I have to put distance between myself and them for a while. It must be very difficult when you suffer physical abuse to forgive, I have suffered mental abuse and it is not very good either. When I was being brought up it was very normal to get shouted at by my Parents, teachers and others.
    It is only in my latter years that I realised it affected my behaviour for it was so much part of my life I thought it was normal for everyone. It is easier to forgive people who did not mean any harm because they were shouted at too when they were young but it is much more difficult to deal with abuse that is directed at you with the intention of harming. I find it difficult to keep up with the differences from when I was young and the present day and wonder do many people feel the same way!

  101. cbrown says:

    Motorcycleminister, remorse leads to repentance and repentance leads to freedom. Were you at Suwannee Correctional about 3 1/2 years ago.

  102. poohpity says:

    Barry, it seems remorse is really getting down to humility. The self abasement or putting our selves down being wounded pride and a false arrogance seems to be almost the opposite. Remorse seems to lead to the desire to change and turn from whatever the offense is/was.

    Viv, physical abuse can heal quickly it seems but emotional or mental abuse the wounds are so deep and especially if we continue saying the same things to ourselves even after the person is not around any longer and if it is someone who we loved and respected. I fully understand that and still after many years of counseling those things cling to my mind. Even knowing they may not be true or have a hint of truth the feeling of worthlessness still hangs around. But we can learn new messages about ourselves and cling to those instead but it takes effort and does not come easy but it is possbile.

  103. Motorcycleminister says:

    To cbrown. No, I was not there.

  104. jeff1 says:

    I find the best way to learn new messages is to make new memories. I do this my focusing on what is good in my life and enjoying the company of people who have similar interests to myself. Joyce you were right when you said I carry the weight of my Country’s sin on my shoulders. I have handed that weight over to God for it is a burden and Pooh you are right I can do nothing about it so it is not for me to fret about anymore. I shall remind myself that God does not want me to walk around with burdens but hand them over to Him. Why is it that I can still be so dificult with God when I see how is redemptive power is working not just in myself but in the world. I see God turning it around and I am amazed yet I still argue with Him on the smallest little things when He has so much bigger issues to deal with but he never sends me away without hope in a better world to come. I ask myself why does He put up with my tantrums for most of the time I am like a baby who has thrown its toy out of the pram yet He lifts it up and hands it back to me like the loving Father that He is. Do you know what it is to sit here and understand that God loves you more than you could ever love yourself of anyone else for that matter for it is knowing that makes me really know that God is REAL.

  105. oneg2dblu says:

    In the process of finding something I posted on C.S. Lewis and Forgiveness, I came across this…

    “One never forgets where they bury the Hatchet .”

    Thought that was pretty telling.

    I remember when first fully accepting the offer and reality of Accepting Christ as My Savior, without knowing the Largeness of the Grace that I was given, and the very thoughts, thoughts of the Forgiveness of Sins, it seems for quite a long time, almost daily, different sins of the past would surface for refiling purposes, they had to then each be individually placed in the new file I had to learn to label, “Remembered by Man, Forgiven by God.”

    What a cleaning of the old house, which held me captive.


  106. street says:

    Reading The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis for the first time and came upon this passage today. How I need to hear this, again and again.

    We must go back to our Bibles. The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the church–read on–and gave his life for her (Eph 5:25).

    This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is–in her own mere nature–least lovable. For the Church has no beauty but what the Bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her lovely.

    The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man’s marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence.

    As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical, or lukewarm Church on earth that Bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labors to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs.

    remembered reading this awhile ago and i believe it embodies love and forgiveness, the reality we find ourselves in. what a Savior!

  107. joycemb says:

    That’s beautiful Street.

  108. joycemb says:

    In my earlier years I struggled with the sin of self-protection. I struggled for many years actually. Self-protection kept me away from people, and kept people away from me. I wasnt really enjoying the fullness of all God had for me either. Forgiveness was key, although it was a long, multi-layered process that I could not have gone through alone. It was in His strength I could let-go of long held hurts and embittered grudges. Overcoming self-hatred has also been a long process, with Him never seeming to tire of telling me how much He loves and cares about me. Me! wow.

    If He can do it for me and Paul, He can do it for you.

  109. joycemb says:

    You=people in general.

  110. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Joyce! May God bless you in your walk with Him!
    Keep going!
    Yesterday we had a sermon on perseverance, and it was abut Noah, who had to persevere in that boat, even after the water was gone, they still had to wait half a year before they could go out of the boat!
    With all these animals, and the dung!

    And street, that of Lewis, was awesome. I have never heard it preach from the pulpit, all though I know it is in the bible. But very hard, impossible to do without purely living out of the life of Christ in the man!

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