FORGIVE OTHERS, FORGIVE YOURSELF
When I was a girl and someone wronged me, the toughest question I think that my mother would ask me wasn’t “Can you forgive them?”
On the contrary, the toughest question was, “Can you forgive yourself?”
“If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Cor 2:10-11
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matt 18:21-22
Can you forgive yourself? Theologically speaking, Christ never speaks directly to us forgiving ourselves, but He is very explicit about the fact that HE has forgiven us. HE has “let us off the hook”.
I still think however, that the practice of releasing our condemnation on ourselves (forgiving, letting go, giving over to the Lord), is one of the hardest practices a human being can do. It is one thing to say, “I forgive you brother” and an entirely different thing to say, “I forgive myself, I am giving over my self destructive patterns to the Lord.”
How many times have we hung ourselves for doing something stupid, when we first did not know any better. So many times we beat ourselves over the head with the mallet of shame saying words like, “I was such an idiot. I can’t believe I did that. What was I thinking!“
So my question to you is, “Can you forgive yourself? Can you let it go?”
I am sure that you have already forgiven Mark, Tom, Peter, Sally, Grace, Sue…. For whatever they have done to grieve you, but are you consistently cutting your own foot off and forgetting that Christ died on the cross to forgive you of your sin?
YOU HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN
I have been forgiven by Christ for my transgressions, when I sin and miss the mark of righteousness after salvation, I address it with my Father and He forgives me. It is when we are hard on ourselves, that we begin to walk in pride. When we forget to repent and be forgiven for situations that we have walked into, sometimes willingly sometimes not, we are ignoring the price that Christ paid on the cross for us all to be set free. Yes, you, yourself have been set free!
I know that we do not have the power to set ourselves free. The only one who can forgive our sins is Christ, but what happens when that forgiveness has already happened? Some Catholics go to mass, we Christians look to the cross for our salvation. None of us are perfect, we pray to God that He would reveal to us His desires through His Word, that we would be able to walk unhindered.
Whenever you need to forgive someone else, please remember to check your own heart. Are you holding yourself accountable for not knowing any better? Are you constantly giving up home field advantage for being an “idiot”? RELAX!
Jesus loves you, your Father loves you, and you have been forgiven! Let go of whatever it is that has been bothering you. You can not forgive your own ‘sin’, but you can let it go and give it God. Whatever it is.
ADVOCATE FOR YOUR OWN TEAM
If you have played any type of sports at all, you know that you would never say out loud that your own team stunk. EVEN if in reality you STUNK. You would never admit it. Thus we advocate for our own team, admitting to God that we have “stunk” but asking Him, as our coach to show us how to do a thing, better. Why on earth would we keep hanging ourselves and beating ourselves up for the past, when that past will be forgiven of us simply by asking God in the name of His Son out of a repentant heart to forgive us?
Grace does not excuse those of us who know better to sin knowingly, than ask Him to forgive us. Scripture says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9 If you are considering sinning, so that you can then ask forgiveness and expect it to be ok with God, do not be misguided if you are considering sin, you are not in God.
A prayer for today,
My prayer today Father is that you would forgive us. That You would take our burdens from us and release us of the self condemnation that we so willingly walk into. Lord it is difficult to hold on to Your power and ask You to forgive us for not knowing any better, or for knowing better and sinning anyway. But we know through scipture that if we do not ask You for forgiveness our prayers will not be answered. Father God, I can’t forgive me but You can and I am ready to ask You for forgiveness. I was hard hearted, easily swayed, unrepentant, hurt, easily offended and under the thumb of the enemy… can you forgive me for not knowing Your Word better? Can You forgive me for not knowing that what I was doing was wrong? I am so sorry for not giving You and Your Word the attention it deserved. I repent, and ask that you would take this burden from me, I surrender my all and commit my works unto You, that I would not go astray and be out of line again. I love You, and You love me, You desire for me to be forgiven, THANK YOU! AMEN!”
May God Bless you today as you walk in forgiveness, for yourselves and for others
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