There are moments when we all become someone else. Something other than what we are. It takes only a moment. But we spend the rest of our lives looking back at that moment in shame. It can happen in one instant, out of a lifetime of service, we can become our own worst instincts.
I’ve heard teachings over the years that say, “You can’t love yourself” and “You can’t forgive yourself,” “Those things are not Biblical.”
I would say that those positions are not Biblical.
Here is why:
1) Are you a person?
2) Did Jesus shed his blood for you as much as he has for others?
Those are key questions and very important. What is probably the worst and most virulent forms of PRIDE are self-hatred, self-rejection and self-resentment. How often do your words to yourself amount to murdering yourself with your own tongue and thoughts?
The fact of the matter is this important point:
God showed his love for us in that Jesus died for you and chose you while you are still a sinner! (Romans 5:8) He did not wait for you to become perfect before placing the Spirit in you.
Most people I’ve known (and pastors), gloss over something important in this verse:
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as YOURSELF.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Loving YOURSELF as God has loved YOU is not a sin and it is not pride. It is the ability (gift), to see YOURSELF through God’s eyes of Love for you.
Learning to forgive others also means learning to forgive ourselves. So, these verses apply to you and your relationship with yourself, as much as to another believer.
1 John 1:9
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (NLT)
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NLT)
1 Peter 5:7
God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him. (CEV)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him (NIV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
If Others Can Forgive Us, We Can Forgive Ourselves
Forgiveness is not just a great gift to bestow on others, it’s also something that allows us to be free. We think that we’re doing ourselves a favor by forgiving ourselves, but that forgiveness frees us to be better people through Messiah.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him. (NKJV)
But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. (NLT)
Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others. (CEV)
It’s wise to be patient and show what you are like by forgiving others. (CEV)
I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love. (NLT)
All who invoke a blessing or take an oath will do so by the God of truth. For I will put aside my anger and forget the evil of earlier days. (NLT)
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. (NLT)
Don’t let your own hurtful and unforgiving self-talk separate you from the blessings God wants you to receive!
Repent to the Father for harboring…
…and for speaking self-defiling and hurtful words over yourself (if you spoke out-loud to other people that way, would they have anything to do with you?).
Receive God’s healing for even this area of your life!