When God's forgiven you, but you can't forgive yourself…
So, you’ve confessed, repented, completed the 12 steps, apologized, denied, bargained, accepted, etc. etc. etc. You’ve read the self help books, talked to your pastor, counselor, and those that you trust. You’ve memorized the scriptures, the mantras, and every positive affirmation your brain could possibly absorb. You know that God’s word says He has forgiven you of all that you turn over to Him, the problem is that you just can’t forgive one person… yourself.
Maybe its because you still feel the guilt of that baggage weighing so heavily on your heart, no matter how much you try to smile and convince yourself and others that you’ve “moved on”. Maybe its because you can’t let go of the shame that still creeps its way into your mind, keeping you up when the world has long fallen asleep. Or maybe its that deep down, you feel you don’t deserve forgiveness. You know what is true in your head, but you just don’t feel it in your heart.
So… now what? What do you do when you feel like no matter what, you’ll never be able to forgive yourself for that moment, that season, that person, that mistake? To this, I have to ask one simple, yet profound question: Do you really believe God is who He says He is? If we don’t, then that unforgiveness you’re harboring over your own heart makes perfect sense. If the God of the universe isn’t really who He says He is, then of course your sins can’t be magically “cleansed” and your heart “made new”. If the God who formed you in your mother’s womb isn’t really who He says He is, then obviously He can’t truly “save us from all uncleanness”, or “redeem us from every lawless deed” or give us the gift of grace for absolutely no other reason other than His love for us. But, if He is… if He really is the same God that would use a doubter, a liar, a cheater, a MURDERER to show His glory, His grace, and His love for us, then surely, in the midst of your brokenness, He can use YOU.
And if the Lord over all of heaven and earth, really has called YOU according to His divine purpose, for reasons beyond what our eyes can see, and if He really knows you in the deepest parts of your soul, sees your guilt, shame, anger, unforgiveness, and loves you regardless.. Than who are we to hold our opinions of ourselves above Gods calling over our lives? We can’t be aligned in His will while simultaneously saying “Well God I know what you said, but I don’t deserve to be forgiven”. Of course you don’t! None of us do. And thats what makes God… well, GOD.
So the next time you’re questioning why you can’t forgive yourself, I urge you to dig deeper into the root of that burden, and ask, “Who is my God, and do I believe He is who He says He is?”, and not just memorize fluffy scriptures and positive quotes, but truly get to know Him. Get to know Him as the loving Father and friend that He is, from the inside out, and I promise, as He shatters every false perception you’ve held onto about yourself, you will slowly, but surely, find forgiveness.
All my love,