Living in Forgiveness: Part 3 – Forgiving Ourselves
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. - Gandhi
The past two weeks, the blog has focused on forgiveness - which is the crux of Christianity.
You have probably learned to forgive those you love. You have probably even see the need to forgive your enemies/persecutors. However, forgiving ourselves can be the most difficult thing to do.
What we know from scripture:
Ephesians 4:32 ESV Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 ESV Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Luke 6:37 ESV “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven
1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Matthew 5:24 ESV So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Luke 15:11-31 NLT Story of the Prodigal Son
What does this mean:
God sets the ultimate example of forgiveness
Forgiveness is required
It can hinder our connection to God
Things to think about:
The prodigal son had to first admit he has messed up. He had to humble himself in order to go home.
When you refuse to forgive yourself, you are telling God that His forgiveness is good enough for others but not good enough for you.
In order to move forward you have to forgive the past.
Especially your past.
Forgiving yourself Helps Others and Yourself (From Laura Petherbridge The Smart StepMom– www.laurapetherbridge.com )
Forgiving yourself is also important for those in your sphere of influence. It is a well-known fact that hurting people hurt others. The longer you avoid forgiving yourself, the longer you allow yourself to harbor the feelings that you deserve to suffer for what you did, the more explosive you will become and, therefore, the more apt you are to hurt others.
The reality is that you cannot change what has happened.
You cannot restore lives to where they were before the event. However, you can make a difference in the lives of others. You can give back some of what you have taken away by finding a different place to invest your time and compassion. Forgive yourself and let the healing begin!
Forgiving yourself will change the direction of your life.
Here’s a prayer to get you started today on the path to forgiving yourself.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I understand that there is nothing to gain by holding myself in unforgiveness and there is everything to gain by releasing myself from unforgiveness and beginning the process of healing. I want to move forward and make a positive difference in the future. I confess the ungodly accountability, self-abasement, and the vows I have made to never forgive myself. Because Jesus died for my sins, I choose to forgive myself--to no longer punish myself and be angry with myself. I forgive myself for letting this hurt control me and for hurting others out of my hurt. I repent of this behavior and my attitude. I ask for Your forgiveness and healing. God, help me to NEVER again retain unforgiveness of myself or others. Thank you for loving me and for Your grace to move forward with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen. “ from www.allaboutGod.com
About the Author, Jim Brangenberg
Jim's Mission: To transform Christian-run businesses through mentoring Christian Business Owners (CBOs) by incorporating the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in their businesses, their home life and their walk with Christ.