Can you really?


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As this quote suggests, we have all done things that we feel horrible about in retrospect. Many of us have felt that what we need is to forgive ourselves.

There is one problem with that—there is not one Scripture that addresses forgiving yourself! The Bible is full of passages about how God can and does forgive people. It also has a lot to say about our forgiving other people. But there is no verse or passage in the Bible that has to do with forgiving yourself. That leads to the question, “Can you forgive yourself? What do you do when you feel that is what you need to do?”

When we feel like we need to forgive ourselves what we really need (if we are honest with ourselves) is God’s forgiveness for ourselves. Remember, forgiveness is a divinely powered action. You cannot forgive yourself by yourself—you need God to forgive you. Perhaps the real challenge comes when the situation, the feelings, and the pain do not simply disappear after God forgives us.

Often feelings of guilt still linger and we still feel the need to be forgiven. We still feel like we must somehow do something to redeem ourselves. We can’t believe that we actually have been forgiven. The issue here is not how to forgive oneself, but needing to accept the fact that we already have been forgiven. Christ has paid for our sins. God has accepted that payment. We are free from guilt. There is nothing left to do or pay.

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