Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Lie of Forgiving Yourself

Sometimes the guilt and shame of our past sin seems to overwhelm us. We may be stuck in the lie of "I just can't forgive myself." Have you been there in the past? Perhaps you are feeling that way now.

The idea of forgiving yourself doesn't have a biblical foundation, yet this forgiveness of self haunts so many of us. The idea of "forgiving yourself" is a concept that has come from the secular world but it has begun to infiltrate some churches and Christian/biblical counselors as well. But Jesus never prescribed forgiving yourself for your sins. It was Jesus who did the forgiving and admonished those He forgave to..."go and sin no more." (John 8:11)

You may "feel" that the only way you will be whole would be to forgive yourself. But there are some very important things to remember:

* In the concept of self forgiveness, you are actually placing yourself on the throne of judgment and have decided to be your own judge. But God is the only one who judges and the only one that forgives. You are actually placing yourself as sinner, judge and redeemer. And this can't be.
* If you have acknowledged your sin before God and if you have asked forgiveness of the one you have sinned against (if that is at all possible) then you must let it go. It is forgiven; Jesus paid the price once for all. You can't pay a debt that has already been paid. The blood of Jesus covered your sin.
o 1 John 1:7 "...the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
o Revelation 1:5 "...To Him [Jesus] who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood."
* If you still feel pain over your sin - rather than define it as a need to forgive yourself - think of it as regret and this is a totally normal response. Regret is sometimes mislabeled as not "feeling" forgiven. Regret can be a good emotion because it helps build humility and compassion in our hearts for others.

When feelings of pain or regret creep into your thinking, take the time to stop and think about God's forgiveness, that Jesus has stamped your debt of sin "paid in full". Then thank God for the blood of Jesus that made it all possible.
o Romans 8:1-2 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
o Isaiah 43:25 " I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sin no more."

What a wonderful God we serve! He has done all the hard work and sacrifice and we just need to come to the place of truly understanding that Jesus is the one who paid the price to set me free! Halleluiah!

Mary Ann

Mary Ann Kiernan and John have been married for 36 years, have 2 grown/married sons and are the proud grandparents of three grandsons and finally... praise the Lord... a granddaughter! She serves at America's Keswick as a Biblical Counselor and the Intake Coordinator for the Colony of Mercy. Her life verse is Romans 8:28.

James 4:14b
What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

1 comment:

True freedom in Messiah Yeshua said...

After going to a women's conference this past weekend and hearing this statement from some Christian women there I began to question it and go to the Lord in prayer. He showed me what this lie can keep us from. It can keep us from going to Jesus for the gift of repentance and His forgiveness. When we still feel guilt over our sin we need to run to Jesus and say "search me and know me see of there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Only Christ can cleanse us of the guilt of our sin. Also it can keep us for making amends with someone we might have hurt. We need to go to them and confess our wrong. If they chose to forgive us great but if not we can go to the Lord with it and allow Him to clear our conscience. Thank you for this blog.