THE JOY OF RECEIVING FORGIVENESS FROM YOURSELF

This is an area where the blessing of forgiveness is doubled, as you can get a blessing from both giving and receiving forgiveness, all at the same time!

HOW CAN YOU FORGIVE YOURSELF?

Is there a person upon the earth who hasn’t experienced a time when he needed to forgive himself? Is there anyone who hasn’t found himself in a set of dire circumstances and had to live with the knowledge that it was due to his own stupidity?

It is relatively easy for me to write this as I’ve been there more times than I can count. I’ve been so mad at myself on numerous occasions that I’ve had an intense desire to commit suicide. Other times, I just wanted to cause myself some pain – anything to make myself suffer and pay for what I had done!

At times we look back and recall some really stupid decision we made long ago. Some of us might have a lot of those decisions for which we need to forgive ourselves. Obviously, many of the inmates I minister to in the prisons, some with a life sentence, have to deal daily with this. One doesn’t need to be in prison, however, to regret having made a decision to marry the wrong person, or having taken a wrong career turn long ago, or having passed over a scholarship that would have helped paint a different future.

Learning how to forgive yourself might just be one of the most important things you will ever learn. Certainly, a close second might be learning how to forgive others. The bitterness carried by those who fail to forgive themselves often does more damage than the sin that was committed against them. It has been said that failure to forgive is one of the greatest sins a person ever commits against himself.

Without a doubt, the most difficult person to forgive has been myself. The inability to forgive one’s self has a lot to do with pride. Somehow, I think I’m being more righteous in maintaining contempt for myself than to simply forgive myself. Somehow, I become deceived into believing that my own self-hatred makes me a better person.