By Mark Verkler
You may have heard about forgiving others, but have you thought about the importance of forgiving yourself? We’re going to go through forgiving yourself in this post. Jesus said, forgive others, as God has forgiven you.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15
We need to keep our forgiveness and grace in balance. Mark 12:31 speaks on this balance.
The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:31
The second commandment goes like this: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Some people think it’s not possible to forgive yourself and that you can only forgive others, but it’s not true. If I’m going to love myself as I love others, and love others as myself, I must be able to forgive both. Jesus even calls us to love others in the way He loves us. That raises the standard even higher for how we should love others and love ourselves.
What is forgiving myself? How do I forgive myself with the shame, the regret, the guilt, all the things that I’ve held against myself, or I’m holding against myself today? The way I do it is to fully accept God’s forgiveness and agree with him.
Consider this prayer: Lord, show me everything that I hold against myself and that I haven’t forgiven myself for.
Imagine a courtroom: you’re the defendant. To your left is the prosecuting attorney who the Bible calls Satan, the consumer of the brethren. He comes in with his stack of papers that says, Mark (or your name) is guilty of all these things. Believe it or not, this is one time when you agree with Satan.
“When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison.” – Matthew 5:25
Matthew 5:25 says, agree with your adversary quickly when they speak the truth. We need to agree that all these sins we have committed against others, and the guilt. As soon as we agree with our adversary, our advocate stands up on our right. 1st John 2:1 one says, we have an advocate.
“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.” – 1st John 2:1
Jesus Christ is our defense attorney. Literally, He stands and He shows his hands and his feet and He says, Judge, I have paid for the sins of Mark (or your name). Now I agree with my advocate. I agree with him and my sins are covered. Finally, the gavel comes down from the judge, who is God the Father, and He says Mark (or your name) is acquitted. You are free to go.