I was watching tv the other day and during a show someone said “Forgive yourself. Those two words resonated in my heart and then the Holy Spirit took over and delivered a message. Forgiving oneself is not easy. It is often thought a necessary step to finding peace. It is a concept that is used in many psychological practices but it is even more profound than we imagine. The Lord said we should love others as ourselves. We should forgive others. That is part of loving others. Now the question is, how much do we love ourselves? We are supposed to love others as ourselves. We can love others based on how much we love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves much, we won’t be able to love others too much as well. We can think we can but deep down we are not capable of showing a lot of love. For a while I never knew that I needed to love myself. It is so crucial and it is so healing.
When I got saved, I found out that Jesus loved me and He had died for me. I was touched by this amazing love and I didn’t know what to do with it. I let it be for a while until I had to dig deeper into His love. We can’t fully experience a good Christian life until we have embraced God’s love. When we embrace His love, we are made aware of how much we should love ourselves because God loves us and He has the best tastes in the universe. He loves you and me and everyone you will ever meet in your life. You and I are worthy of love. We are worthy of God’s love. Think about that! There is a lot to love about ourselves and God can show us where to begin to love ourselves. For me it started at the cross. I saw that the cross, this extraordinary representation of love was meant for me. I died at the cross with the Lord. My sins and my iniquities died on the cross. Love hung on that cross for me and I can’t take that lightly. I can’t take the ultimate sacrifice for granted and I felt a need to receive that love and to hold on to it. Jesus is love and He is my Savior. Love saved me. Love touched me so I can touch others with love.
I decided to take the steps to loving myself because of what the Lord revealed to me. I also realized that the more I would love myself, the more I could love others. Then I discovered that I had to forgive myself if I were to forgive others. When I pray, I ask for forgiveness every day. I also forgive those who have hurt me and I pray for them. The Holy Spirit taught me to be good to myself and to forgive myself. I used to get so mad at myself for some of the things I did. I missed it like they say, all the time. I am human and being saved and filled with the Spirit doesn’t mean that I will not make mistakes and that I will not sin. I once heard someone say that because he was saved he was sinless. That really bothered me. He was basically saying that he was Jesus and there is only one Jesus. No one is exempt from sinning. Forgiveness is a beautiful demonstration of love. Forgiveness is a part of the language of love. Forgiveness is a manifestation of God’s love toward us and if we believe that God forgives us when we ask Him, we ought to forgive ourselves as well. Directing God’s love to ourselves is not being conceited. It’s being a good follower and doer of the Word.
My prayer is that you get to a point where you can forgive yourself every day. Pray about it. Ask God to help you with the process. You will experience a freedom you had never had before. Forgive yourself as the Lord forgave you. Forgive yourself daily. Don’t give yourself permission to sin daily but forgive yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to help you with whatever you are struggling with. Be gentle with yourself. We can be our worst critics. The Lord is not criticizing you and putting you down. He loves you. He sings all over you and rejoices over you. Thank Him for His love and focus on how powerful it is. Forgive yourself and stay in faith. Unforgiveness can hinder your faith because it hurts your love walk and you need to walk in love in order to walk in faith. Love is the most important force in your life and you have enough of it for others and for yourself. May God bless you and protect you and remember that God will always love you!
Suggested reading: Matthew 6:14; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13