I know that Jesus told us to forgive others—even our enemies, (Matthew 18:22) but what about forgiving ourselves? Is there really such a concept as self forgiveness? I think there is!
We are human and so we make mistakes, we fail, disappoint people, hurt people, say unkind things and the list goes on. There are some things which we have done that have shamed us and caused immense damage not only for ourselves but for others. I know many people who have asked God to forgive them but somehow they are unable to forgive themselves. I do not think we truly experience God's forgiveness if we cannot forgive ourselves. God is gracious, tender, compassionate, slow to anger, and forgiving. He knows our faults and flaws and yet He is willing to forgive us.
So how do we move on from our past to walk this road of forgiveness and healing?
1. Admit your weakness and accept God's pardon: Acknowledge you are a mere human and that you are in need of God's grace and forgiveness.
2. Accept His forgiveness and live in it: People may throw your past in your face, but I can assure you that God never will. Once you have confessed your sin you do not have to go on and on repenting. You must accept God's forgiveness by faith and walk in it.
3. Don't look back: Don't dredge up the past. Put it behind you and live in this new day. This is a new day with new beginnings.
4. Seize today: You are forgiven, washed, cleansed, and sanctified. Seize this day and make it count. Today is your opportunity to live to the full—to walk in forgiveness and to let your light shine brightly in a dark world.
5. Build for tomorrow: Okay, so you may have wasted years of your life and you regret that. But you cannot live with regrets so make sure everything you do today builds for tomorrow. Steward your life towards God's purpose so that you can build a meaningful tomorrow for all who will follow behind you.
God's love and forgiveness are far greater than your failings. Accept His pardon and walk in freedom.
I have to add that there are always consequences for our choices and some of us have to live with them. That is not always easy because those consequences are reminders of our failure. But God is bigger than our circumstances. You may have a price to pay from a human perspective, but Jesus is walking beside you and you can walk clean and free. So hold your head up high! Your God is with you!
Remember the magnificent text in John 8 when a woman was caught in adultery. All her accusers were standing around ready to stone her. Jesus spoke quietly and asked the person without sin to throw the first stone. Quickly and quietly they all walked away from the scene. Jesus looked at the woman and asked her where her accusers were. She replied that they had gone. He looked at her and told her that He did not condemn her either, but said; "Go, and sin no more." In other words, walk in freedom and turn from the life you once lived.
I trust that this day will be filled with His blessings as you experience the pardon of a loving God.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,