In our last two blogs, we discussed the topic of healing with regard to forgiveness. We started this series wanting to discuss how to believe God for physical healing and what the Bible says about healing. After studying and researching on the topic, we realized there was so much more to it and it began with our heart and unforgiveness; how holding onto unforgiveness affects our emotions, thoughts, and even our physical bodies. When unforgiveness is left untouched, it grows and becomes a root of bitterness. The Word tells us that bitterness causes trouble and poisons the hearts of many.
So, last week we wrote about holding unforgiveness with others and now, we want to take it a step further and address unforgiveness with ourselves. It seems there is a tendency in most of us to hold ourselves more accountable than others, therefore making it a lot more difficult to forgive ourselves for things we have done or feelings we have harbored, than it is to forgive someone else. We often think that if we let ourselves off the hook, we are dismissing our behavior and may not deserve forgiveness. This kind of thinking only digs ourselves deeper in despair and the further in we go, we take the risk of hurting others again.
The Bible doesn’t specify scriptures that pertain to forgiving ourselves, yet if we hold the truths of the Word of God for ourselves as we do others, then we see that those same principles that apply to forgiving others, apply to us, as well…
We can be so hard on ourselves and have a very difficult time forgiving ourselves for our sins, but the Bible says we have ALL sinned! We were born into a fallible, sinful world upon birth.
Romans 3:23– “for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God…”
Knowing that we all fall short and are in need of God’s grace relieves us from guilt. We are not perfect but being perfected. We need to stop putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but remember that we go from glory to glory.
We have to be careful with holding unforgiveness towards ourselves. We believe when we have a hard time forgiving ourselves it’s because we are carrying condemnation, guilt, and shame. These three things are a hindrance to forgiveness. We are going to take a look at what the bible says about these.
- Condemnation is not the same as conviction. Conviction leads to repentance, whereas condemnation keeps us bound to our sin believing we deserve punishment.
- If we truly believe the Word of God, that His mercy extends to even the most unspeakable of sins, then we have to walk in that and stop holding ourselves condemned.
- Sometimes we think that as long as we forgive others, then that’s all we need to do. WE somehow believe that if we still hold that condemnation over ourselves, it won’t affect anyone else, yet it does. When you are in close relationship with anyone, their weaknesses and faults very much affect you too. Their behaviors subsequently affect your mood. We see it in marriage, we see it in friendship, any close relationship…If we are holding onto something, it will begin to hinder our relationships.
- Drop a rock in a pond. You drop it in by itself and although it is carrying the weight, the ripple effect starts to pan out in circles around it, touching and affecting anything else in it’s path…Same goes with unforgiveness with oneself.
Guilt is another hindrance to forgiveness. If we are not careful, guilt will keep us stuck in our sin and past. It will keep us from forgiving ourselves because we can’t let go or forget.
- Psalms 38:4 TPT – “I’m overwhelmed, swamped, and submerged beneath the heavy burden of my guilt. It clings to me and won’t let me go”
- Cling in both the Greek and Hebrew mean to cleave to, to adhere and don’t let go! Don’t allow guilt to cling (adhere) to you! Let it go!
- Here is a beautiful scripture to pray….
- Psalms 51:1 TPT-“God give me mercy from your fountain of forgiveness! I know your abundant love is enough to wash away my guilt. Because your compassion is so great, take away this shameful guilt of sin. Forgive the full extent of my rebellious ways, and erase this deep stain in my conscience.”
- Acts 13:9 TPT– “Everyone who believes in him is set free from sin and guilt….”
- BUT the Bible also says that there’s a way out! Jesus died that we might be forgiven!
- Jeremiah 31:34 – “They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them.I’ll FORGET they ever sinned!”
- God forgets our sins and that’s not to say He’s forgetful, rather He’s merciful and CHOOSES to look at us with eyes of mercy and purity through Jesus, rather than our actions…. WE are the ones who often choose to continue dwelling on the thoughts of our sins instead of His promises…
- We can’t keep rehearsing our sin and allow the accuser to keep reminding us either.
- Last, but not least – shame…. We have to be careful not to also carry shame. Shame keeps our focus on ourselves. We are ashamed and embarrassed of our sin, but shame will keep us from approaching God.
- Shame makes us feel unworthy, humiliated, embarrassed and will hinder our relationship with God.
- Psalms 34:5 TPT – “Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You’ll never wear that shamed-face again.”
- Psalms 146:8 TPT – “You open the eyes of the blind and fully restore those bent over with shame.”
Like we discussed in our last shows about forgiving others, it is a choice. It’s not an easy choice, BUT it is a choice, probably the hardest, yet most selfless one to make – to let go and let God! We see that pretty saying on cards and bookmarks and it sounds so reassuring, but have you ever had to actually DO that??? Letting go means releasing every part into the hands of God and trusting Him to restore.
1 Peter 5:7– “Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you…”
Psalm 103:10-12– “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Romans 8:1–3– “So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the anointed One.
The case is closed. stop keeping it open! Don’t open what’s been closed, forgiven, wiped clean!
Colossians 2:14 TPT – “He canceled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all- our sins, our stained soul- he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved!”
We all wish we could go back and undo our sins, but we don’t have to…Jesus did! It’s time to take the forgiveness He paid for us to have and walk in our freedom! We will continue this series on the next blog!