We all know what the Bible says about forgiveness. See Matthew 6:14-15 for one example.
We all know the old adage that says not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting it to affect the person who we have not forgiven. It’s not hurting them but it is poisoning your life, slowly but certainly surely.
We all deal with the forgiveness issue at some point along the way, but what if the person we have not forgiven is ourselves? What if the poison we are carrying because of un-forgiveness is working double duty because not only is un-forgiveness making us miserable, our lives are being upended because the person who needs our forgiveness most is ourselves.
I believe that most of us, as Christians can, after time with our Father, find it in our hearts to forgive those who have wronged us. I also believe that we have a harder time finding justification and the same compassion when the person we need to forgive is ourselves.
I think it is mighty arrogant of us to expect the forgiveness that God offers us but not be able to offer the same.
I suppose there are a lot of reasons for this. Maybe we don’t want to let ourselves forget our former sins so that we don’t make the same mistake again, maybe we feel that we must pay a price of life long penance for our past sins. Maybe it is a habit now and we don’t know how to break free from the perpetual circle of self-hatred. Whatever the reason, if we have not forgiven ourselves for some past offence the results are a potent poison coursing through our lives and wreaking havoc.
Although the Bible does not specifically address forgiving ourselves it would seem to me that we can apply the same principles to forgiving ourselves that we do for forgiving others.
Forgiveness is based on one thing, the fact that Christ already paid for our sins…………ALL OF THEM………..if we have trusted Him as our Lord and our Savior, we can trust Him with the sin we are harboring and not forgiving ourselves for. He forgives us, He has paid for our past sin. It really is as simple as that.
We have a few choices to make. Do we believe what God says, do we trust His promises or do we wallow in our past sins and live in guilt the rest of our lives? Part of forgiving ourselves involves taking our thoughts captive and when we think of the past sin, we can either roll in the muck or we can think on the one who forgave us and retreat into a praise party instead of a pity party.
It is not about forgetting your past sin but it is about letting go of what you are holding against yourself so that you can get on with the task of a fulfilling walk with the one who forgave us first.
……………and so I ride