God’s forgiveness is such a gift and blessing and we all need it. Forgiving those who wrong you is so powerful as it frees you from holding a grudge and the danger of losing your soul. But, what about forgiving yourself? This is a tough one and I believe one that affects us all. I have no problem forgiving others, but forgiving myself when I mess up is another story. The tendency is to be tougher on myself and even hold myself to a higher standard. That makes my shortcomings seem worse and more difficult for me to forgive and get past.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost”(I Tim.1:15). The apostle Paul felt he was the worst of all sinners. I’m sure at times you’ve felt that same way, I know I have. Paul did have quite a colorful past of persecuting the church. Paul also became a faithful servant of Jesus and gospel preacher who wrote more Scripture than anyone. How did Paul deal with his past indiscretions and become so effective for the Lord? He trusted God’s grace to cover and forgive his sins from baptism on (Acts 22:16) and Paul forgave himself. The Christian who does not forgive himself will live in guilt every day and hinder his spiritual growth and effectiveness for the Lord.
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”(Phil.3:13-14).