Forgive Yourself

I’m recovering from a bout of, well, not full-out sickness, but a few days of feeling “off.”

For me, illness is not usually the worst part of being ill. It’s the enforced inactivity, the feeling of losing control of my schedule and imagining all the things I’ll have to do when I recover.

Guilt kicks in, too. I ask myself, what could I have done differently so that I wouldn’t have gotten ill? Why did I ignore the warning signs? Why didn’t I go to bed earlier, avoid that sugary treat, wash my hands more…

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Image by Jan Vasek from Pixabay

 

Of course, all that angst is pointless and a bit self-centered.

A much wiser approach would be to focus on recovering, and on preventing illness in the future.

One of the many reasons I admire the Apostle Paul is that he seemed able to take that approach in his Christian life. When he preached or shared his testimony, he didn’t wallow in regret for his past sins, murder included.

Instead, he related those sins only to demonstrate God’s mercy, and the power of Christ to transform lives.

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Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. – 1 Timothy 1:12-15

Once we have repented of a particular sin, no good will come from replaying that sin in our minds. That will only drag us down and prevent us from moving forward for Christ.

Rather, we should recall God’s attitude about our past sins.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. – Acts 3:19
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:12

What a relief, what a blessing, that God has cast our sins to opposite sides of the universe! And, according to the Greek word for “blot out,” he has obliterated them from existence.

That act of God should encourage us to move forward with our lives for him.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. – Philippians 3:13-15

Have you ever found it difficult to forgive yourself?  I value your comments as always.

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9 thoughts on “Forgive Yourself”

  1. I have always been self-critical, willing to give everyone a break– except myself. I’ve had to learn that I’m not Superman, and that the strongest thing a person can do is admit he/she does need help now and then. Makes life a lot easier 🙂 — Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so true, Mike. My husband and kids were perfectly able to step up and take charge of things when I wasn’t feeling well, though I hated to ask them, adding to their own list of to-do’s! But that’s part of what being in a family – or the family of God – is about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so right. I’ve seen instances when people were bothered that others wanted to do something to help them out. We shouldn’t deny others the chance to be ministers of God’s love when the need arises. Goes back to learning that none of us are Superman, or Wonder Woman!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is interesting that you should write this and that I should read this just at this moment, for I was kicking myself over something I said today. It wasn’t a sin. I wasn’t sinning against God. I just didn’t choose my words as wisely as I should have. And, I wished I would have said it differently or maybe not at all. But, I literally was sitting here feeling down in the dumps about it, and I was praying it through, and I was asking for God’s help to be wiser with my words. And, then I read what you wrote, and I realized I needed to forgive myself and to stop kicking myself over it. I just need to forget what is behind and move forward to what is ahead a little wiser than I was before, hopefully, and better prepared to choose my words more wisely and thoughtfully. So, thank you for this. It helped!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Repeating sins can be frustrating. But I have learned to look back over the course of months or years and ask myself, have I grown in this area? Am I doing this sin less and less? If the answer is yes, then I am comforted by the thought that I’m becoming more like Christ, slowly but surely. He never said the transformative process would be quick. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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