Can We Forgive Ourselves?

Q. Can we forgive ourselves? So many people say you have to forgive yourself, but I have never found it in the Bible.

A. Forgiving ourselves really means accepting God’s forgiveness. Continuing to harbor feelings of guilt for things we’ve done in the past and have asked God to forgive us for may be an indication that we haven’t really accepted His forgiveness. As long as we hold on to our guilt the enemy can use it to steal our joy.

Forgiving ourselves is like forgiving others. We have to choose to do it even when we don’t feel like it, because it’s our way of thanking God, Who forgave us. And if we think we’ve really blown it, we may have to make the choice to forgive ourselves repeatedly to give our feelings time to catch up with our choices.

Remember 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we’ve confessed we’ve already been forgiven and our sin has been forgotten. In God’s mind, it’s like it never happened. All that’s left is to accept His forgiveness and move on.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

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