Forgiveness changes things. In my previous post, I explained the struggle I have with even wanting forgiveness. Now that I recognize the great blessing of forgiveness, it has changed my relationship with God. It has changed my religion. It has changed my spirituality. It has changed why I do what I do for the Lord. Let me explain. [Read more…] about I’m Forgiven! Now What?
I have a confession to make. A while back, I realized I have a problem. I have a struggle with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Deep down, I haven’t really wanted forgiveness of my sins. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have asked for forgiveness again and again and again, that is, if simply saying those words counts. But I realized that while saying those words, I had not really been asking for what God really offered. Please, let me explain.
The more I’ve worked with addicts and dealt with my own sins, the more I’ve realized that most churches are falling short in a very important area–freedom from sin. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Most churches teach freedom from sin. Most command freedom from sin. But very few are helping people become free from sin. Most of them simply tell people to quit sinning and then slap them on the wrist when they catch them sinning again or belittle and shame them for doing so. What can we do about this?
Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” We’ve all heard this verse. I for one am convinced I live by this verse. After all, all my conflicts are someone else’s fault, right? But Matthew 7:1-5 says I should be more concerned about the log in my own eye than the speck in yours. Maybe I need to dig a little deeper and examine myself a little more closely.
We’ve all blown it sometime. We’ve sinned, often grievously. Our sins have wreaked havoc in our own lives and the lives of others. We have hurt people tremendously. As David said in Psalm 51:3, “My sin is ever before me.” However, unlike David, sometimes we can’t seem to move on. Those past sins keep us held back. We cannot enjoy God’s blessings or move on with a better life. How do we overcome that? Forgiveness. Not simply receiving God’s forgiveness or the forgiveness of others. I’m talking about forgiving ourselves. In the past, we’ve looked at what forgiving ourselves means, now we need to ask how we can practically and actually accomplish it. Here are 11 practical steps to take in order to forgive yourself.
I received a heart-rending letter this week from a brother who is suffering the earthly consequences of his heinous sins. He had heard a sermon I preached entitled “We are Allowed to Love Ourselves.” You may remember the series on this very topic that I wrote on this blog. The brother wanted to know how he could ever forgive himself. Having committed some heinous sins myself, I want to know the same thing. What does it mean to forgive ourselves? Should we forgive ourselves? How can we?