The bible is very clear about how God feels about forgiveness. In fact, the foundation of our belief as Christians is based upon how Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of our sins. God forgives generously, and He expects His children to learn the power of forgiveness amongst one another. When you learn how to forgive yourself for your own past mistakes, you are exercising the power to forgive – even if it is toward yourself.
The bible tells us that if you belong to Christ you are free, and should not have feelings of condemnation. Condemnation is the expression of strong disapproval or to pronounce guilty. For someone struggling with forgiving themselves, condemnation can manifest in feelings of you blaming yourself, or feeling like “I deserve to be punished.” If you are experiencing these negative feelings, please understand that these thoughts of condemnation are not from God. In fact, they are coming from a place of pain, hurt, or fear within yourself. God does not condemn his children. It goes against His nature to make you feel guilty or ashamed for your past mistakes. He sent His son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the sins of the entire world so that we would be forgiven and restored back to Him.
The enemy uses guilt and condemnation to wage war in your mind. He would love for you to become consumed with thoughts of your past mistakes and leave you feeling sorrowful and hopeless. Because your mind is a constant battleground, Paul urges us to think about good things (Phillippians 4:8). The longer you wait to release your past, the longer the enemy can use your own thoughts to torture you.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”Romans 8:1-2
When God forgives each one of us, the bible tells us that He remembers our sin no more. God in all His infinite power and wisdom chooses not to hold your sins against you, or bring up your sin in a negative way. If God promises to never remind you of your sin, why won’t you forgive yourself for your past mistakes? The bible tells you that if you accept Christ, you are made new – all the old has gone away, and you are a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Forgiving yourself opens your heart to be able to move on with your life. By letting go, you are making room for God to heal and restore you back to Him.
Just as God has forgiven you, you must forgive yourself too.
Like forgiveness, healing is important to God. Your Heavenly Father wants you made whole to be able to become all that God has created you to be. The reality is, you cannot change the past. You may not be able to fix the problem or undo what you did, but you can start today by making better choices. Make the conscious decision to move on and never make the same mistakes again. You have the power to forgive yourself and move forward instead of remaining stagnant and complacent. Healing begins with forgiveness, and accepting Christ’s forgiveness has the power to bring real change in your life.
You can never properly love and forgive others until you first have learned to forgive yourself. Matthew 22:39 tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” When Jesus said this, he anticipated that you would treat others with the same love, mercy, and forgiveness you extend to yourself. However, when you harbor negative feelings and emotions toward yourself, it is likely that you will do the same toward others. Learning to forgive yourself for past mistakes is the perfect way to practice forgiveness.
If you don’t receive God’s forgiveness for yourself, you can’t share God’s love with anyone else.
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. In fact, when you forgive yourself and others, you should use it as an opportunity to grow and get better. Forgiving yourself means emotionally letting go of what happened, and making the decision to move on from it. We are all sinners, and God knows that. Despite our sinful nature and evil ways, He continues to love and forgive us. In fact, He loves you so much, He says that there is nothing in this world that can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38) – not even your past mistakes. That’s the true power of His love.
5 Tips to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes
- Remember that God loves you and that He wants you to be restored back to Him.
- Understand that condemning thoughts do not come from God.
- Ask God for forgiveness, and accept His forgiveness as He has forgiven you.
- Meditate on the word of God to combat negative thoughts and feelings.
- Surround yourself with people who encourage you instead of reminding you of your past mistakes.