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.
A friend of mine once said, “I’m an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.” At first, I was confused, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could say the same thing. Therefore, it will not surprise you that the father of lies can trip me up by getting me to believe two contradictory lies at the exact same time. I bet he can do the same for you. As we noticed last week, Satan wants you to believe that every other Christian is more spiritual than you causing you to give up. At the same time, he will also try to get you to believe that you are more spiritual than every other Christian. Here’s how.
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?
I was humbled last night. I don’t know whether to make this post a family post because it had to do with my relationship with my kids or to make it about our individual spiritual lives because it taught me about my relationship with God. I’ll just tell you the story and let you draw your own conclusions.
I have to share a story I heard from my brother-in-law, Nathan Williams.
4 Servants Fell in a Pit
Four servants were walking through a field one day, when a sinkhole gave way and they fell into a deep pit.
As they came to their senses and assessed their situation, they began to confer about what to do. The first servant began to think about his hard life, his nagging wife, his pestering children. He thought about all the work he would have to do if he got out of that pit. He decided that he kind of liked it down there. He curled up by the dirt wall, pulled a rock under his head, and went to sleep.
The other three continued conferring.
The second servant began to think about what a great master he had. He knew the master would come looking for them and save them. He knew that since the master would take care of them, he could just sit there and wait. He leaned against the wall of the hole and waited.
The other two kept conferring.
The third servant looked at the wall of the pit and said. “We can do this. All we have to do is dig out some hand holds, grab hold of rocks and roots. I think we can dig and climb our way out of here. If nothing else, I think we can dig at these walls and build a ramp to get out.” This servant started digging and working hard.
The fourth servant new that was just impossible. The pit was too deep, the dirt too loose. They would never climb or dig their way out of that pit. All that would accomplish was pulling more dirt down on top of them. So he began to holler. “Master, Master. Save us. We are stuck in this hole. We can’t get out. Save us.”
A few moments later a rope was let down into the hole. The master said, “Grab the rope and I will pull you up.” The fourth servant, seeing his salvation, grabbed the rope and was pulled to safety.
The master flung the rope down again and said to the third servant, “Stop digging. Grab the rope and I’ll save you.” But the third servant said, “No, Master. Watch and see. I can dig and climb my way out of this pit. When I’m done, you’ll see what a wonderful and hard working servant I am. You’ll be so proud of me.”
The master spoke to the second servant. “Take the rope and I’ll save you.” But the second servant said, “No. You must not be my master. My master would just save me from this hole and ask nothing of me. I’ll wait here for my master.”
The master roused the first servant from his slumber and said, “Take the rope and I’ll save you.” But the first servant said, “Save me? Save me from what? I’m comfortable down here. No one expects much of me down here. No one is nagging me down here. The dirt is soft and comfortable. Even this rock for a pillow is not so bad. I am getting a little hungry, but I think that pain is worth it. I’ll just stay here. Your rope may be good for others, but I don’t need saving.” He went back to sleep.
To this day, the rope dangles in the hole waiting for those servants to trust their master’s strength to save them. There was much weeping in the master’s house for the three who remained in the pit. But there was also much rejoicing for the one servant who had been saved by the master.
Which servant are you?
How do Christians mirror these servants? You can add your input by clicking here?