How to Forgive Yourself

If you’re beating up on yourself over a mistake or bad choice, stop. Remember, God is not a bully.

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Posted in , Jul 9, 2018

How to forgive yourself and let go of guilt.

Maybe–just maybe–you feel worthless. Maybe you have made mistakes, even serious ones. Or maybe they are serious mainly in your own eyes. 

Then again, it’s possible you have made bad, irretrievable choices. Or maybe they feel irretrievable. Or they are irretrievable on your (but not eternal) terms? 

Here is a truth: It’s hard to tell the difference between a dark place and falling into a chasm. It’s hard to grasp the difference between how you feel and where you actually are. For some of us it’s human nature to assume the worst, to be our own bully.

Here’s another truth: God is not a bully. Jesus was not a bully. The Holy Ghost is not a bully. 

This is a fairly good indicator that no one in the Holy Trinity wants us to bully ourselves. Go ahead and accuse yourself of sin (where merited), but don’t overdo it. Don’t extrapolate. Don’t give in to hyperbole.

Accuse yourself only of what is true. Add nothing. Delete nothing.

Confess facts, not feelings.

And then when you have confessed fully, accept forgiveness

If the Lord of the universe forgives you, who are you to not forgive yourself? 

You are loved. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Which begs the question: Do you love yourself? And do you love yourself as Jesus loves you?

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader

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