Read: Psalm 103:10-14

Have you ever come to the Lord in repentance, confessing your wrongdoing, and yet still felt guilty? Sometimes the problem is that we can’t forgive ourselves. Therefore, we go into a self-punishing mode, repeatedly replaying the sin until we feel unworthy not only of pardon but also of blessings, answers to prayer, and the Father’s love. Eventually we build a prison of guilt because our offence seems unforgivable.

But what does such behaviour tell us about our faith in God and our estimation of ourselves? According to the Bible, our Father freely bestows forgiveness on the basis of His Son’s payment of our sin debt—and has removed our transgression “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). Is our refusal to forgive ourselves a way of saying we consider Christ’s sacrifice insufficient? In other words, is our standard of righteousness higher than the Lord’s?

Two men in Scripture teach us about the importance of accepting God’s full forgiveness. One is Peter, who denied knowing Christ, and the other is Paul, who persecuted Christians. The Bible gives no evidence that either one of them refused to forgive himself. Although their offences were great and both men probably regretted their actions, they received God’s forgiveness and lived in the freedom of His grace.

To be free of an unforgiving spirit toward ourselves, we must realize it’s the result of self-focus. Instead of believing the truth of God’s forgiveness, we’ve been relying on our own feelings and making them superior to His Word. It’s time to humble ourselves and place trust in God—not in our feelings.

Further Reading on Forgiveness:

How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness (3 parts)

Have You Forgiven Yourself | by Katherine Kehler

God Forgave our Sins, Past, Present and Future | by Katherine Kehler
“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103: 12. Do you ever think that you have sinned so much that God can’t forgive you?

You Can Live Forgiven | by Max Lucado
If you haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness, you’re doomed to live in fear. No pill, pep talk, or possession can set the sinner’s heart at ease.

Are You Forgiven  | by Sherry Yarger
As a young Christian, there were times when satan, my accuser, would rob me of my peace as he caused me to question my forgiveness.

The Problem is We Won’t Forgive Ourselves | by  Jon Walker
‘Then he (Jesus) said to him, “Follow me!” John 21:19 (NIV). We believe God will forgive us; the problem, though, is we won’t forgive ourselves.

Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”  Psalm 31:5

Esther was running out of time.  The doctor pronounced her condition terminal.

When Alice dropped by to see her, Esther blurted out,

I’m afraid of what comes after I die!  God can’t forgive what I’ve done!”

Alice prayed silently before responding.

Sometimes it’s easier for us to feel guilty than forgiven.
Maybe you need a new reason for living.”

Alice gently shared a story of a judge who stepped down from the bench.
He took upon himself the sentence that the guilty man deserved.
Alice explained that Christ’s death paid the penalty for Esther’s wrongdoing.
She was guilty. But God loved her so much He provided a way for her to be forgiven.
Esther trusted Jesus for His forgiveness and was no longer afraid of death.

Now my friend, how about you?

By Vonette Bright
Used by Permission

Have you ever opened up your heart to God and asked Him to enable you to become the person He created you to be?  If you would like to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you can say this sample prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.

This is how it starts.  One simple prayer of surrender.