ACCEPT THE GRACE AND FORGIVENESS THAT JESUS GIVES TO YOU
“You will again have compassion on us; You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” – Micah 7:19 –
Have you forgiven yourself? In Scripture, Jesus explains that we are to forgive others. For only in forgiving will we stay united to our Savior… keep our prayers heard and answered… and live in the light of God’s favor. Yet often we fail to pass along forgiveness to ourselves.
Perhaps you believe that you are not worthy of forgiveness. You have set up a perfect standard by which you are judging your life. You remember all the times you have stumbled, fallen short and gone astray… and you are caught up in the trap of guilt and regret.
Maybe you are holding yourself to a high level of accountability for your wrong decisions. You wonder why you acted as you did… you question how you did not know better… you doubt if you can trust yourself to keep from making wrong decisions in the future.
Or you may believe your sins are too great… that you can never forgive yourself. You question if you have been truly forgiven by your Savior. Your sins have become such a crushing weight that you can hardly bear it. You conclude that you must live always with this burden.
“If God forgives us, we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise it’s like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” – C.S. Lewis
Christ died for just such reasons. If we say we are unforgivable, then we believe His sacrifice was not enough… that Christ died for nothing if all our sins are not covered. We are saying that our judgment of ourselves is of greater value than God’s.
The amazingly good news is that the sacrifice of Jesus was infinitely more than enough to cover all our sins. We are absolutely and completely forgiven. Our heavenly Father sees us as without sin… pure and holy as His Son. No sin is too great… no person beyond forgiveness.
Jesus has made us worthy… not because of anything we’ve done… but because of His perfect sacrifice. The sinless Lamb of God paid the ransom for our sins with His life. We have the utmost worth in the eyes of the Father. We live in the divine grace of Christ.
Grace may seem too easy. Our finite minds are not able to fully understand the immensity of the grace of our Savior. Yet it stems from His unending love… a love beyond our comprehension. Only One who loves each of us individually and unendingly would pay the highest price for our salvation.
How then do we make forgiveness of ourselves a reality?
† Believe and embrace your complete forgiveness in Christ – All our mistakes, regrets and failures were cancelled at the cross. Yet the after-effects may still be a part of us. Ask your compassionate Lord to forgive your past and remove the consequences of your sins from your life. We want nothing to hinder our closeness to Him and our spiritual walk.
† Leave your past behind – Ask your merciful Savior to rid you of the constant reminders of your past sins. Accept the unchangeable past. Accept that you did the best you could with the wisdom and experience you had at the time. Give your past to the One who bears your burdens for you. We cannot let our past keep us from the best future He has planned for us.
† Take your thoughts captive to Christ – Ask Him to help you let go of toxic negative emotions toward yourself and your past, present and future. Let go of thoughts of bitterness, regret, discouragement, guilt, shame. Let go of other people’s wrong opinions of you. Let His thoughts of love, joy and hope fill your mind instead.
† Amend your past – Ask your gracious Lord to remove the consequences of your sins from those against whom you have sinned. We exhibit the mercy of our Savior by asking that the hurt we have caused others be removed… and that it in no way limits their lives. Ask that the ramifications of your sins no longer hinder their walk with God.
† Seek a path of healing with your Healer – Ask Him to heal the wounds to your soul. Let His love replace any self-rejection you may harbor. Remind yourself of who you are in Christ. Appreciate and value yourself as He does. Speak verses from Scripture to prophesy over your own life and future.
† Commit to learning and growing from your past – Mistakes, poor choices, wrong decisions can all be used as lessons. We can either let past failures crush us or make us stronger. Resist the enemy’s attempts to dredge up any feelings of unworthiness and failure. Reject his lies and embrace the truth of your Savior’s forgiveness.
† Give yourself the grace and compassion that Jesus gives you – Accept that you are not perfect but are still learning. For until you forgive yourself, you cannot move forward with your life. Our past guides us… yet it does not define us. We are all on a spiritual journey to Christlikeness. It is only through our Savior that we can truly forgive ourselves and experience His grace and victory in our lives.