Read Romans 8:1-2
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Is it ever difficult for you to forgive yourself? How does that keep you in bondage?
It can be difficult for many people to forgive themselves. We think things like, “How could I be so stupid!” and “I let so many people down.” Sometimes we replay our bad decisions over and over in our minds and berate ourselves the entire time. We think things like, “I know God has forgiven me, but I will never forgive myself!”
But friends, if Jesus forgives us, we should forgive ourselves. He died to free us from our sins. If we cling to our sins in unforgiveness, we are not fully accepting Jesus’s work on the cross on our behalf. It’s like saying, “Yeah, Jesus, I know you sacrificed greatly to free me, but I’m going to hold myself a prisoner to my past sins as self-punishment.” That is unnecessary and useless.
Jesus died to give you life! He died to set you free from the laws of sin and death. If you are in Jesus Christ, when God looks at you, He sees Jesus, not your sins. He does not condemn you, so why do you condemn yourself? Psalm 103:10-12 confirms this: “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
If you are struggling with forgiving yourself, I encourage you to reflect on what Jesus did for you on the cross. Now ask yourself, Is there anything more I can actually do to add to the work Jesus did to forgive me? Am I capable of doing enough penance to pay God back for my sins? The answer is no and no. If you could disciple yourself and have that be enough, Jesus would not have needed to die!
Rest in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, friends. Let your sin go. Do not cling to it in unforgiveness. In Christ, you have been set free. There is now no condemnation! So walk in the forgiveness and freedom that Jesus intended for you.
Jesus, sometimes I struggle to forgive myself. I am so ashamed of my sin. But You do not condemn me. Your sacrifice on the cross is more than enough. You paid the penalty, so I do not need to anymore. Help me to let my sin go and rest in You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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