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Forgiving Self

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10 NASB

The saying, “It is harder to forgive yourself than for God to forgive you,” has an element of truth but is essentially false.

Attempting to forgive ourselves for committing what we feel are unforgivable sins is a study in futility. Mental health therapists have found that living with unresolvable guilt-producing situations contributes to many emotional problems and addictions—among them, migraines and pain pills.

When we find ourselves in apparent unresolvable failures, we must do something to escape the guilt and pain. One of the most common escape mechanisms is to forgive ourselves. Every mental tool is called to the rescue, such as attempts that search for a reason to blame another person. The more powerful our mind is, the more reasons we can find to blame. Another escape attempt is to forgive ourselves through positive thinking and meditation.

These approaches provide only temporary relief because our minds never forget anything unless we have had physical injury. The best we can hope for is to gradually change the unresolved guilt into bad memories instead of living memories, which relive the trauma every time they emerge.

When we violate our value system—a system that has been held together by beliefs that are a part of our self-image—we move toward a mental breakdown. Learning to live with a fractured ego is a bad idea. We need Divine forgiveness.

Forgiving ourselves for sinful behavior is impossible. John reminds us only Almighty God can do this. The question is whether we will believe and claim God’s answer for how to deal with what feels like unforgivable sins. When we experience a cleansed soul, we can rejoice in the gift of forgiveness that the God of second chances gives freely.

Claim that all your sins were paid for on Calvary’s cross.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Robert L. Segress

The Rev. Dr. Bob Segress served as a licensed psychological clinician for twenty-five years. Upon retiring, he served for fifteen years as a prison minister. Retiring again, he began writing full-time after a period of boredom. He has written: The Biblical Approach To Psychology while serving as a college educator, The Shelton Series, and, in 2012, Ten Years Inside Shelton Prison. Currently, he writes for several publications such as Halo Magazine.