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Forgiveness for ourselves
by A. Fielden
2/14/2019 / Self Help
Have you ever heard someone make a statement such as, 'I can forgive others, but I can never forgive myself?'
Such statements result from processing a combination of thoughts and associated feelings. Pain, anger, shame, guilt, condemnation, self-rejection, to name a few. Yet, it is the voice of the accuser who wants us to buy into his lie that we should not forgive ourselves. By repeating such statements we reinforce them and by degrees build up a stronghold in our mind.
There have been times when I have found it hard to forgive myself. The sense of self-condemnation has been powerful. This was enhanced with a tendency to be hyper-critical of myself to the point where I would negatively judge my own best efforts before someone else did. Dwelling on this kind of thinking built up a stronghold in my mind to the point that it became increasingly difficult to forgive myself, even for minor things.
We have powerful tools to break these strongholds down. Renewing our mind with the Truth is one of these tools. It is a practical, proactive activity. This process engages our spirit, soul (mind) and body with the Holy Spirit. Because He knows us inside out, we can depend on Him to unpick the ‘knots’ that tie up our thinking. Over time Holy Spirit showed up the roots of these thoughts and feelings so that I could get rid of them and receive healing.
A key in this process, for me, is to meditate on the truths in the bible, to ask Holy Spirit to shine His light on the ‘blind spots.' When Holy Spirit uncovers these, it is easier to identify the changes that need to be corrected in our thinking. I have made it a habit to ask whether a current belief agrees with:
A) The character and nature of our Heavenly Father.
B) What Jesus says and does.
C) Other scriptures that address forgiveness.
The truths about forgiveness are powerful because as they enter our minds, they bring the light of Jesus. As well as showing up the things that need to be addressed, His light carries revelation to apply to our situation. Here are some key verses to begin with:
1) When Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” forgiveness and mercy was released from heaven for everyone who had lived, was currently alive and yet to be born. This includes (insert your name).
2)The writer of Hebrews reminds us that Christ died once, for all. The word ‘all’ includes (insert your name).
3) To back this up The Passion Translation renders Paul’s words like this. “…He (Jesus) cancelled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all.” Col 2v14.
4) God had provided forgiveness before our life began. Ephesians 2 verse 5 says that when we were dead in our sins, God made us alive together with Christ.”
So we are left with two choices, as recorded in Deuteronomy 30:19.
“I set before you Life and Death…choose Life that you may live.”
By continuing to agree with the lie that we cannot or should not forgive ourselves this keeps us in torment. By agreeing with the forgiveness Jesus offers and acting on it by forgiving ourselves, there is freedom and healing.
Self-forgiveness is essential, as to do so is to love ourselves. In order to love our neighbour as ourself, we need to receive the love that Jesus has for us. His love heals the pain of the past and our response to it which under-girds a belief that we cannot acquit ourselves.
Remember, we have been given a spirit of God’s Agape love, the dunamis power of Holy Spirit and a sound mind (2Tim 1:7). His word makes our thinking sound, His power sets us free and His love repairs our heart. He has already acquitted us, so that we can forgive ourselves.
(c) A Fielden 2019. part of a series on Forgiveness.
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