May 12, 2010
If we don't forgive - God does this: Matthew 6:14,15 - For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.
If we don't forgive - the enemy does this: 2 Corinthians 2:10,11 - If you forgive someone, I will also forgive them. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we know very well what his plans are.
We are commanded in the Word to love one another, but I ask you, do you love yourself, or do you hate yourself?
When I first got saved, the Lord brought me through deliverance of many things. When He started walking me through forgiveness, I heard a sermon on it. Like I try to do with all sermons, I wanted to apply it to myself. So I asked the Lord who I needed to forgive.
I wasn't expecting the answer I got, 'yourself'. Ok. Had never even heard of that before. So many don't know that we need to forgive ourselves. But as the Holy Spirit started ministering to me, I realized that I hated myself. So how in the world could I forgive myself? I had hated myself so much and what I had become that I didn't even clean the mirrors in my house, for I couldn't stand to look at myself. I sure couldn't look in my eyes, 'cause they are the windows to the soul. And it just wasn't very pretty what I'd see.
After the Lord revealed to me that I needed to forgive myself, I reluctantly chose to, by an act of my free will (not my feelings, because I didn't want to) to forgive myself. The Lord then led me to stand in His Presence for a minute to actually receive that forgiveness. I felt such a weight lift from off my shoulders, I couldn't believe it. Coming to Him and asking for forgiveness set me free. Period.
All these years I've subconsciously been trying to punish myself by hating myself and holding on to the guilt. I was trying to make up for the work that Jesus had already done at the Cross for me. That work was enough, Jesus didn't need my help. Jesus became the guilt offering for me, so I don't have to carry around all that guilt and condemnation for all my sins and wrong choices that I've made in life. Since Jesus did all the work for me at the Cross, who am I to say I can't forgive myself?
The Word actually says that we are loosed to the tormentors when we don't forgive (see Matthew 18:21-35). I've felt that torment and at times through my spritual eyes could see it. It's scary. And the enemy has plans to use us not forgiving ourselves to cause us harm and all sorts of pain and anguish. Some cut themselves. Some commit suicide. Some abuse others. All trying to relieve the feelings of torment from within.
We even wear masks to make us look different to people, thus more acceptable. Sometimes we wear too much makeup, or hang our hair over our eyes, or pretend to be something that we're not, all because we're hoping that people don't see what we believe to be the ugly inside if they could really see us/knew us.
We forgive others every day. Can we not do the same for ourselves? Isn't it time we forgive ourselves, and let ourselves off the hook? For whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!
Prayer: Help us, Lord to see ourselves as You see us. We choose to lay down our anger, bitterness, resentment, self-hatred, guilt, condemnation, and shame for ourselves and wear the robe of righteousness that you have provided for us when we give our life to You. We choose to forgive ourselves. I love You, Lord. And thank You for helping me to be able to face myself, live with myself, and love myself in a healthy way, 'cause it's been a long time coming. For once in my life, I want to live.