Forgiving Yourself – Don’t Add to the Pain

Forgiving yourself is often the hardest thing to do. This is part two in a series of posts.

Forgiving Yourself

Forgiving Yourself – Don’t Add to the Pain

Sometimes people refuse to forgive themselves as an act of self punishment.  If  God won’t punish them then they need to do it! But when they refuse to forgive themselves, they only add to the pain of their offense.  They take a bad situation and make it worse.

Not Forgiving Yourself Means Becoming Less of a Person

One of the effects of not forgiving yourself is that you become less of a person.  What I mean is you weren’t designed to live with guilt.  It weighs on you and eats away at you. What you need to get you back on track is forgiveness but you’ve rejected it. Instead, you’ve chosen to pay for your failure on the installment plan; one regret at a time.

Wasn’t what you did bad enough?  Why do you want to perpetuate that dark history by keeping it alive through regret and self punishment?

It’s like going to a restaurant.  Imagine that I go in and see you eating a meal. Out of kindness I tell the waitress to add your meal to my bill.  But you reject my kindness.  Even though I paid for it, you insist on paying for it again. That’s what happens when you reject God’s forgiveness.  Jesus paid for your sin once, but you feel the need to keep paying for it, over and over again.  How foolish is that?

Not Forgiving Yourself Robs Your Loved Ones

Not only do you add to the pain of your life, you add to the pain of those you love because you aren’t allowing yourself to be fully alive to them.  In essence, you cheat them out of the person that you are supposed to be for them.  When you punish yourself you punish them too.

Forgiving Yourself Allows Transformation to Begin

You may never be able to right your wrong, but you can live well and stop the negative effects of guilt in your life.  Forgiving yourself means leaving the past in the past and showing the world the power of God’s transforming love and forgiveness.

I’ve always liked the emphatic words from the book of Hebrews…

By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14

Jesus’ death made me perfect forever. Period. End of story.

Forgiving yourself means leaving the past in the past and showing the world the power of God’s transforming love and forgiveness.

Two people in the Bible show a stark contrast in terms of receiving God’s forgiveness: Peter and Judas.  They both failed Jesus by denying him. Judas couldn’t forgive himself and committed suicide while Peter went on to lead the church after forgiving himself. No one thinks of Peter as a failure. We think of him as a great church leader. Forgiving himself allowed Peter to live a totally new life.

The same can be said of you.  Leave your past by forgiving yourself.  Then move on to become the person God made you to be.

Question: How have you added to the pain of your past? Leave your comment below.

Learn more about how to forgive in my book, STUCK…how to mend and move on from broken relationships.