Do you spend a lot of time rehashing or going over and over something in your mind concerning something you did or something you said? Questioning yourself, wondering what was wrong with you, how you could have done or said something so stupid, hurtful? Or maybe questioning why you continue to go down the same path when it leads to harm or hurt?
Do you condemn yourself with self-criticism, and lowered self respect? Do you judge yourself on hindsight? Have you ever gone there, how often do you go there…..questioning yourself with a judging spirit?
It’s a road I don’t travel as much as I used to because with God’s help I realized that my refusal to forgive myself was showing a lack of faith in the effectiveness of Jesus as my Savior. It was as if I was saying, “Lord, I know that you died on the cross to forgive our sins, and I know you have forgiven me, but I have made some pretty huge mistakes and committed sins that are unforgivable in my eyes. So I am going to keep punishing myself for the sins You say are covered and taken care of. Sins that You have forgotten, sins that You remember no more.”
There is a perverse pride in this type of thinking!!
If God declares He has forgiven me (John 3:16) and considers me righteous (Romans 5:16) then who am I to reject His verdict? Who am I to put my judgment and self-punishment above God’s judgment and mercy?
Once I realized what I was continually doing and I repented His mercy flooded my soul. Living under God’s grace is much more satisfying path than playing judge over myself.
His forgiveness is amazing, incredible and so complete!!
I was finally able to let go of my tendency to take on false guilt and blame myself for any abuse that occurred, to unload some of the shame I carried. It felt like a huge truck load of shame was unloaded, and yes, sometimes shame still finds places to hide inside my heart, soul and mind….but it is incredible to be free from so much of it. God’s perspective is that the shame of abuse was never ours to carry.
I don’t know where you are in your journey; whether you recognize that you haven’t forgiven yourself. Are you too hard on yourself for not heeding the warning signs in an abusive marriage, or for taking too long to end an abusive relationship? Do you continue to question yourself and condemn yourself for allowing yourself to have gotten involved in an abusive relationship? Do you condemn yourself for going down the same road over and over again, wondering when you will learn, when will you stop repeating the same pattern? Or maybe you’ve wrongly condemned yourself for the things that were not your fault.
Talk to God about it; pray the simple prayers~ pouring out your shame and guilt. He is listening, He cares, and He wants to see you free from condemnation. Free from punishing yourself. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess He forgives us. Jesus stands waiting and inviting you to let go of the “false” guilt issues that you may be dragging around. He wants to carry all our anxieties (1Peter 5:7) we have nothing to fear anymore (Romans 8:15)
On YouTube Joyce Meyer has some video’s on forgiving ourselves that are worth watching. There are six of them but I encourage you to take the time to watch them and let the message penetrate your heart.