Counselor’s Corner: Have You Forgiven Yourself
You have asked God to forgive you and you have asked others to forgive you, but have you forgiven yourself? Others do not need to remind you of your past mistakes and failures because you do a good job reminding yourself of them. You are your worst own critic.
If you are hard on yourself and you do not allow yourself the room to make mistakes and learn from them, you will not enjoy your life very much. The hardest person to forgive is yourself.
Reflect and ponder: Why do you believe you have a difficult time forgiving yourself? Do you believe that punishing yourself by withholding forgiveness somehow will pay for your mistakes?
Why it is hard to forgive yourself:
1. A lack of unconditional love for self. You have learned to love yourself conditionally when you do this or that, but not at all times.
2. A root of perfectionism. A false belief that you must do all things perfectly or else you are a disappointment and a failure.
3. You are overly critical and place yourself under a microscope examining each and everything that you have done or have ever done, while you allow others to be examined through a much larger lense.
4. Self-condemnation. You beat yourself up with your words and come into agreement with what the enemy says at you. One of the enemy’s favorite tactics is bringing up past sin and mistakes.
5. Others have not shown you true forgiveness, so you don’t feel worthy of forgiving yourself. Significant people in your life have made you feel unworthy of forgiveness.
6. You magnify your failures and do not allow yourself any allowances for weaknesses.
7. Anger at yourself for allowing something to happen over and over again.
8. A lack of understanding God’s grace and how He forgives. God’s grace is not like man’s grace. God’s grace is not based on merit or the ability to earn it. God’s grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
Not forgiving yourself will cause you to see things through the eyes of guilt, shame, and condemnation. Not forgiving yourself can destroy your faith. Become easy on yourself, and when you do made a mistake or fail ask God to forgive you and believe that He does! Stop rehearsing the negative tapes in your mind about your past sins and failures. Learn from your mistakes, and realize that you did the best that you could at that time.
MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9