When my book, Outrageous Forgiveness in 30 Days, was first released I received numerous letters from well-meaning readers stating,
“I have forgiven many people who have done wrong to me. How do I forgive myself?”
There is no one word, simple answer, but there are biblically based answers. First, we should find someone in the Bible whom God states as forgiven. One is coming to mind as I write discovered in John’s Gospel, and it involves a woman accused of adultery, and as there is no record of her denial, she was guilty, though unjustly prosecuted. Here is the statement of Jesus Christ to her:
John 8:11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
Most will agree that if God is on record as having forgiven someone, no one has the right to continue making a big deal of that which is forgiven.
Those who have trouble forgiving themselves state, “I can’t believe I did such a terrible thing.” The Lord knows you did such “a terrible thing” and He forgives. As the Judge of the Highest Court in all Creation, there is no higher appeal level. You are forgiven. This brings a powerful point from the pen of Oxford Don, C.S. Lewis in his take on forgiving yourself:
"If God forgives us we must forgive ourselves otherwise it’s like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than him." “Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis” (2006). (Triple Emphasis mine).
Satan, the “god of this world,” cannot overrule the mandate of God. All the tribunals of time cannot undo the ruling of the Lord on a case. And though you may struggle with the unspeakable love/grace of God, you are a forgiven citizen of heaven, and heaven trumps our feelings. It also rules as illegitimate the opinion of all humans including you!
Hebrews 8:12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."
Copyright © 2018 Larry Lilly Scripture verses from NKJV unless stated otherwise.
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