Who Are You To Forgive Yourself?
And if you did, how do you know that you are forgiven?
Forgiving vs. Punishing Yourself (Based on: How to Forgive Ourselves Totally – by RT Kendall)
1. Only God can forgive, but once God has forgiven you, He wants you to receive it and be kind to yourself. Punishing yourself in thought, word or deed is a failure to believe or receive the forgiveness God offers.
a. “What I did was bad and I deserve punishment/ to feel guilty.” “I cannot live with what I did (or didn’t do).”
b. Just as God insists that you forgive others, it is a dangerous form of PRIDE not to forgive yourself. You are holding bitterness against a person – yourself. (Eph. 4:31-32.)
c. We forgive in proportion to how we love; we withhold forgiveness in proportion to how we hate. God did not create us to hate ourselves (Matt. 19:19).
d. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matt. 5:3-4). God will not comfort you as long as you are trying to pay for your sins by punishing yourself.
e. Jesus comes to release the oppressed and captive. Guilt is oppressive and holds us captive:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,to release the oppressed”(Luke 4:18, NIV).
2. The Kingdom of Evil does not want you to forgive yourself or anyone else. Bitterness toward anyone (including ourselves) is a stronghold and an open invitation for the Evil Kingdom to move in. He loves your depression. Your self-loathing and self-pity makes him happy. You will surely pass along your self-hatred to your children and others and it will inhibit power for generations. “…I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us; for we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Cor. 10:11-12 , NIV).
3. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17). It keeps us from being paralyzed by our past and moving into blessing.
4. Not forgiving yourself diminishes your usefulness and anointing by grieving the Holy Spirit. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God(Eph. 4:29- 5:2) .
5. We cannot love others well until we have forgiven ourselves.
6. Our physical, mental and emotional health are at stake.
a. Irritability, anxiety, arthritis, depression and general poor health.
7. Our desire to NOT forget the pain we caused others or ourselves makes us use anger, fear, rehearsal and negative reinforcement. Whatever we fix our minds on, we become. God will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed/fixed on Him.
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