If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Did you know that learning to forgive yourself is just as important as forgiving others? It’s true, although it is an aspect of forgiveness that is overlooked frequently. When you forgive yourself—that is, you stop allowing guilt to tear you apart—you are letting God heal the brokenness hidden deep within.
Refusing to “let yourself off the hook” nurtures guilt. Along with guilt come shame, feelings of worthlessness, and a desire to hide from God. You may even harbor the subconscious idea that being free from guilt would foster a carefree attitude, which might steer you back into the same sin.
There is hope for you today. God desires for you to live in the freedom, security, and holiness that are yours in Christ. Through the Savior who paid for your sin, you are truly righteous and blameless. Romans 8:1 gives you this promise: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
If your self-image is blurred because you don’t feel forgiven, embrace this promise as well: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 (NASB).
As you learn to forgive yourself as Christ forgives you, you may need to reaffirm these truths periodically. Remember, Christ came to set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1).
Lord, help me to forgive myself. Take my guilt and shame.