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The Bible Never Tells Us to Forgive Ourselves

By Marlys Popma

All of us have sinned. Romans 3:23 says Ė for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But the truth is that some of us have sinned in a way that has caused great destruction in our lives or in the lives of others. When this happens, we might say, ďI just canít forgive myself.Ē We canít forgive ourselves for hurting those we love. We canít forgive ourselves for destroying lives. We canít forgive ourselves for acting so foolishly. We just canít forgive ourselves!

Last week I was listening to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth on her Revive Our Hearts radio show. I listen to her each morning on my way to work. I would highly recommend that my readers consider tuning in. Her insight on the Bible is wonderful and her teaching is so informative! Well, Nancy made the comment that the Bible never tells us to forgive ourselves. That comment intrigued me, so I have been reflecting on that statement for days.

I must admit, that I have used those words. I have told myself that needed to forgive myself and I have told others that they need to forgive themselves. But after listening to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, what I had thought about this issue was wrong! When we are feeling unforgiven, what we are actually feeling is shame. Shame is a horrible burden to bear. But the reality is that we donít need to feel shame and we donít need to feel unforgiven.

We canít forgive ourselves or even overcome our shame on our own, but we can ACCEPT the forgiveness of Christ. Christ paid an amazing price to redeem you. He was mocked. He was whipped. He was tortured. He was spit on. He was betrayed by one of His best friends. He was nailed to a cross and humiliated. He struggled to breathe as He hung on that cross. He did all of this so you could be forgiven.

I John 1:9 tells us Ė If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Romans 10:11 says Ė For the Scripture says, ďEveryone who believes in him will not be put to shame.Ē And one of my favorite Scriptures, Romans 8:1 encourages us with these words Ė There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We canít forgive ourselves, but we CAN accept the forgiveness of Christ. Christ sacrificed all to give us that forgiveness, isnít it fitting that we accept it?

So, the issue is not whether we can forgive ourselves, it is whether we can accept the forgiveness that Christ has given us. Just as our redemption cannot be earned by things we do; forgiveness cannot be earned by things we do. Forgiveness is what Christ does for those who love Him just because He loves them. Forgiveness is what Christ gives YOU because He loves you!

Never again will I tell anyone they should forgive themselves. That would be too great a burden for them to bear. Instead, I will tell them to accept the forgiveness of Christ. Either we believe He forgave us and accept that forgiveness or we donít. I believe it is best to live in that forgiveness!

Copyright 2019 by Marlys Popma
The Christian Conservative
Used with permission.



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