The Challenges of Forgiving Ourselves

Psalms 32:1-2

Yesterday, we considered why people fail to forgive themselves for wrongdoing. Today, let’s look at seven questions to ask yourself when you struggle with self-condemnation.

1. Why should I continue to condemn myself when the Lord no longer condemns me?

2. Is my self-condemnation drawing me into a closer relationship with God, or is it driving me further from Him?

3. What good am I doing by refusing to forgive myself?

4. Does self-condemnation help or hurt my relationships with others?

5. Does my refusal to forgive myself impress God? Does He find me more devout because of my guilt and shame?

6. Is there any biblical basis for withholding self-forgiveness?

7. How long do I intend to condemn myself? What will be the end result?

Normally, the answers to these questions are obvious. However, if you’re in the throes of self-condemnation, the truth may seem hazy.

Often the only way to work through times of self-doubt and remorse is to focus on the basics of who God is and what He wants for your life. If you are struggling with an inability to forgive yourself, prayerfully consider the seven questions above. Read them aloud, and let them work through your spirit. You may even want to open a journal or take out a sheet of paper to record your thoughts as the Lord speaks to you. Don’t be surprised by some intense wrestling in your heart as you consider these points—and as God reorders your thoughts about yourself.

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