We often speak about forgiveness and how we must forgive others to obtain forgiveness from the Lord; but before ever forgiving someone else of hurting you, there’s something you must do.
It’s easy to justify why we should forgive someone else. Here are a few reasons.
- As previously stated, to obtain mercy during our times of trouble and to get forgiveness from our Father,God.
- Not to allow that person or thing to occupy space in our mind so that we can take back control emotionally and spiritually.
- To release the hurt and pain and to reopen our hearts to receive love.
We know why we should forgive others and the benefits of doing so. Yet we can’t seem to find any justification for forgiving ourselves for going against the word or behaving unseemly.
Let me help you as best I can. First, God says He forgave you:
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”Hebrews 8:12 KJV
God said He will not remember. Why are you destroying yourself mentally? Not only are you reliving the pain, but also the sinful thoughts which all delays your healing process, steals your joy and destroys your peace.
Secondly, Jesus says this:
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
Jesus said if you have ought or an issue against anyone forgive them. We read this scripture and think about issues we have with others, but consider this: If you’re not forgiving yourself, who do you have an ought against???
So how can you get forgiveness for your sins with an ought against yourself?
When we stand before God in sincerity, tired of our ways and ready to commit to His ways, we are asking for grace, mercy and forgiveness. We are saying to God that we have an ought against ourselves and that we are emptying ourselves of anything not like Him. However, if we are not forgiving ourself for the ought, we cannot open ourself to receive forgiveness from the Lord. God is not a partial God. He won’t choose to forgive the other person and not forgive you! He said he is greater than our heart.
“Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20 NLT
Here is the reality. You cannot change what happened in the past; but you can control your present and your future. Do you know how many times I’ve looked back at past situations and have been like: “ugh, why did I do that? What was I thinking? That was so stupid! UGHHHHHH” But I cannot allow those thoughts to consume me. Something or someone I allowed to hurt me over 20 years ago cannot possibly help me now mentally by dwelling on the what-ifs. But what I have gone through can help someone who the Lord places in my path. I can now share with them in their struggles and tell them what I did to overcome the exact same issues they may be facing. That’s where our victory lies. To know what once was an issue, I can now help someone else so that it no longer is an issue for them as well.
We are faced with many choices in life. Your choices will either allow you to be a life-giver or life-threatener. Forgiving yourself doesn’t let you off the hook or justify your wrong behavior. It removes you from the depression and isolation state of where the enemy desires to keep you imprisoned. There is nothing gained in living in unforgiveness.
FORGIVE YOURSELF and then you can freely learn to forgive others.