When You Can't Forgive Yourself


I read the My Utmost for His Highest devotional by Oswald Chambers most every day.  As I've been challenged by dealing with forgiving others, I realized that I harbor a lot of unforgiveness regarding myself.  A lot of that stemmed from the fleshly identity I put on due to the actions or inactions of others.

My self-esteem took a beating as a child, and I never quite got over feeling not quite good enough.  My inner dialogue can be quite harsh.  I am quick to belittle myself over errors and mistakes.  I see the roots of envy and bitterness in the way I view myself.

Learning about God's unconditional love for me has been hard for me to grasp.  

During my study time, I was reading about Jesus asking John, "Do you love me?"

I began to write in my journal, as I felt the Lord asking me the same question.  

Lord, I think that truthfully, I want to love you, but I probably focus way more on me.  I try to love You with human love - and I do not think that is what you mean.  At least, I don't think so.  Do I love you? I want to.  I want to know you personally, abidingly.  I want to - but like Much Afraid in Hinds Feet in High Places, I fear I do no have the love you mean.

I don't love anyone well.  I am selfish.  But I don't love me the way I am, if I ever did.  I sought self-glorification for so many years.  I see the roots of envying others, bitterness, resentment, and anger all tied into the fact that I have been trying - without success - to make "me" matter.

Lord, what can I do to change this?

I seemed to hear the words, "Forgive the others.  All of them.  Forgive yourself.  Let go of it all."

Scriptures suddenly popped into my mind.

"Neither do I condemn you."  John 8:11

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

"Who will bring a charge against God's elect?  God is the one who justifies.  Who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us."  Romans 8: 33-34

"What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own son, but delivered him over for us all, how will he not also with Him freely give us all things?"  Romans 8:31

Do you understand that, deni?  Truly understand it?  No one can truthfully condemn You.  Not once you are mine.  Satan can try - but I have your back. 

Satan lies.  He has no power over you other than the power you give to Him.

You are mine.

Much loved.

I was reminded of a scene from the Jim Henson movie, "Labyrinth." Jareth, the Goblin King, (who has already kidnapped her annoying baby brother) is trying to seduce the main character, a rather selfish and angry teenager, Sara, into worshipping him. He wants to entice her into his world.  He offers her promise after promise, if only she will serve Him.

Suddenly, from the recesses of her mind, come the words from a play she has been reading and acting out.  "You have no power over me."  And Jareth's world, one of impossible mazes, dangers, and fears, begins to crumble. It literally falls apart.  The liar is defeated by words of truth, and Sara finds herself back in her own world, with her baby brother safe and sound.  

We have our own powerful words.  His words.  Because of what He has done for us.

"Neither do I accuse you."

"Therefore there is now no condemnation ..."

And it all begins with love and forgiveness.

He forgives us.

We forgive others.

We forgive ourselves.

We stand unaccused.  Blameless before Him.

Have you completely accepted the forgiveness so freely offered to You?

Have you passed that forgiveness on?

Have you forgiven yourself as He has forgiven you?

If the very God of the universe has forgiven you - who are you to continue to berate yourself?

Hard questions to ask.  But ones of vital importance.

Because in forgiveness, we find either our bondage or our salvation.

I pray you choose to forgive.

 © deni weber 2010-2015