Forgive Yourself: Three Steps to Healing

By: Carol McClain         carol_mcclain

“You are all together beautiful, my love, there is no flaw in you” Song 4:7.


“I wouldn’t undo anything I did because it made me what I am today.”

You’ve heard this, haven’t you? I certainly have and it drives me crazy.

I’d undo tons of things I did and be a better person and more successful and less guilt-filled. With Paul, I have to say, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am chief” 1 Tim. 1:15.

Have you struggled with your past and been unable to forgive yourself? I know many people who easily accepted the forgiveness offered by Christ and know, beyond all knowing, that nothing from their past matters.

Sigh. How about us? We’ve managed to forgive all sorts of transgressions from others: forgetting to invite us to a party, stealing the love of your life, beating you as a child, murder. But forgiving yourself seems impossible.

I know I’m ridiculously neurotic. The only one in the world who’s still a basket case even after years of serving Christ and doing good and growing daily in the grace and beauty of Jesus Christ.

So how do you forgive yourself?  Here’s what I’ve discovered works. Please add what works for you:

How to forgive yourself

  1. Talk to someone trustworthy. Sharing a burden lessens it. Like a wound or sickness, exposing it to light helps heal. I KNOW this works. Always. I must include one caveat. This person MUST be trustworthy. Your pastor, spouse, counsellor, or a proven friend. Choose wisely.
  2. Read Scripture. Get a good concordance and look up guilt, forgiveness, God’s love. Read until you find the Scripture God is speaking to you. The latest one that ministers to me is Song of Solomon 4:7. I AM altogether lovely. There is NO flaw in me. Then meditate on that personal word from God until you believe it into the very core of your being.
  3. Quit thinking about your failings. I know, you would if you could, but how do you? I’m discovering the same system I’ve used to forgive others works on me. When the guilt arises, I say, “I am forgiven” or “I will not think of that” or “God paid the price.” You see, I am lovely. There is no flaw in me.

God wants you to live your best life. This is our one shot. If we’re not in heaven yet, we’ve got a lot of beautiful things to love, to enjoy, to worship Jesus in. Don’t wallow. Dance.

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