FORGIVING YOURSELF

Do you ever wish you could have a “redo”?  Some decisions I made in my past were hurtful to myself, and others and I am sure it saddened our Heavenly Father immensely. 

I know I’m not alone in these thoughts.  Even Paul said “For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9).

So what do we do with these negative thoughts from the past?  My wise friend, Sue, told me that part of forgiving others meant you had to forgive yourself.  How do you do this?  God promises if we repent He will forgive us and then remove the sin altogether.

“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”        Psalm 103:11-12

If our transgressions are removed from us there is nothing to regret or feel guilty about , right? This seems so easy – yet it is so hard to wrap my head around. 

Someone once told me that guilt is from Satan and conviction is from God.  Guilt often consumes you – makes you feel hopeless.  I am here to tell you right now that if we are truly following God – we should have nothing to do with guilt.  It is where Satan loves to have his way with us.  Don’t let another day be driven by guilt.  Rebuke Satan right now.  

Conviction on the other hand is something God places in us through the Holy Spirit. Conviction is a way out.  It’s knowing what your doing is wrong. Its knowing you will never go back to those old habits. It’s where freedom is. We must be careful not to sit in conviction either.  Conviction requires an action from us.  We must respond to what the Holy Spirit is telling us.  Once we have responded, we are to move on.  It is all part of the process of forgiving yourself.

Let us never forget why Jesus died on the cross.  It wasn’t just for everyone else.  He died on that cross for you and me.  For us to be forgiven.  If we choose not to forgive ourselves we are saying His death was in vain.  That He shouldn’t have done that for me.  If you have these thoughts I ask you to be reminded of who you are in Christ.  You are a child of God and He makes no mistakes. 

I can say my past is my past.  But, I can also say I’ve learned some great lessons from my past and I am able to have compassion for others who have similar stories as mine.  I am able to not be judgmental. I am able to give hope to those in the midst of sin, who feel hopeless and unforgiven. I am able to do these things because our Heavenly Father has forgiven me and has removed those trespasses from my life – I am truly free. Freedom and forgiveness go hand and hand.

Now I can say all the glory goes to God – for He redeemed me and forgave me and has shown me how to forgive myself.  I live my life knowing this as I journey through this thing called life.  I am reminded of who I am today; reminded of where God has taken me and I am thankful.  He loved me enough to use my story to glorify Him.  How awesome is that??

So today I pray you find forgiveness in yourself.  Allow your story to glorify our Heavenly Father.  This can only happen if you forgive yourself.  Allow God’s light to shine bright so others have no choice but to ask you to tell them your story – the story of how God redeemed you, forgave you and used you to help others.  See how God uses your story.  Freedom awaits my friends. 

Debbie Wayns