Forgiveness is nothing easy to work with. We, fortunately, have the perfect example to look up to, that being Christ. Every sin has been forgiven by Jesus’s blood, every single one. This means that in the same way, through Him, we can forgive in the depths that no one ever could. With Christ, we are told to “not let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good…” Rom. 12:21. In other words, love. These concepts genuinely don’t make sense without the picture God drew for us with Jesus’s life.
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. – 2 Cor. 5:14-15
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
So, what is the difference in forgiving others and ourselves? To forgive others, we have the help of Christ to guide us through a genuine heart transformation. Functional forgiveness is giving up the right to get even with someone for the wrongs done against you. Through Him, we can actively choose to make an effort to change our thoughts about the wrongs done to us and how it was damaging. Not dwelling on any offenses committed against us, helps diminish their power over us.
What about forgiving ourselves? Is it possible? There is actually no scripture available that backs up the idea of forgiving ourselves. It is, however, possible to come to terms with our past actions and to make an active effort to change the way we look at ourselves. However, total and complete forgiveness comes from the Lord. The just penalty for sin is always death and the wrath of God. No ordinary man can survive the punishment for all sins, or even his alone. That is where Jesus took the place for all sin, and His death and resurrection is the only fair price for our freedom. Believing in the idea of forgiving ourselves is not understanding the severity of sin and what it is. If we ever get to the point where we think we can forgive ourselves, then the cross was unnecessary. On the other hand, If we can’t accept Gods forgiveness as enough, then the cross was not enough, and we haven’t fully believed that God has forgiven us.
Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. It is in Gods nature to WANT to forgive us and also to show us how to forgive others to be free from pain and bitterness. He longs for us to come to him, NOT so that he can enjoy our pain or take perverse delight in our state of vulnerability. Forgiving others with Gods help allows us to be free from the burdens we were never meant to carry. Knowing and believing that Jesus’s sacrifice is more than enough for our own sins gives us the freedom from the hopelessness of never overcoming past mistakes.
God wants us to know the depths of His forgiveness. Both so that we can be free from the guilt of them, and be able to forgive others and be free from the anger and bitterness that we feel. I pray that you turn to Him, read His word to get to know Him, and in Him find freedom.