When You Can Forgive Everyone but Yourself

Column Post by Glenda Harbinson

The word forgiveness brings many thoughts to mind. There have been times in my life when forgiveness was relatively simple and other times when it was far more challenging. Childhood days of forgiveness seemed so difficult, yet looking back I see they were good learning tools, stepping stones to the tougher days of adulthood.

While I have had some struggles forgiving people who have wronged me in painful ways, my longest-fought battle has been learning to forgive myself—sometimes for things I truly did, but often it was things for which I held no accountability.

I easily condemn myself, knowing that I have let God down or disappointed others who have expectations of me or even who simply love me and want what is best for me. If I displease someone, I walk straight into condemnation without a moment’s thought. I may not even have known that what I was doing was displeasing, yet I instantly indict myself.

I was recently reminded that it’s not about condemnation—it’s about love and forgiveness.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.   Romans 8:1, 2

Jesus has set me free. He loved me so much He came and died for me so that I could be forgiven and be free of condemnation. I need to allow myself to be free of that kind of self-judgment, to be forgiven of those things over which I hold myself in contempt, to forgive myself for all my wrongs, real or imagined.

Since God has forgiven me, who am I to say He is wrong by refusing to extend that same forgiveness to myself?

Forgiveness is a vital part of our relationship with Christ. Forgiveness from Christ is given, only by asking. He forgives us in that moment, that very moment, we ask!

 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Romans 8:34

Forgiveness from others may take some time, but we can only do our part and ask for it, while continuing to treat them as Jesus would. Forgiveness of others is not always easy, but God says we must and so it is by His strength that we forgive. Forgiveness of ourselves is hard, but considering that God loves us enough to forgive us, how can we say He’s wrong?

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P.S. We’d love to know what you think. Won’t you leave us a comment?

Glenda is a homeschooling mom of four in New Brunswick, Canada. She also fosters one teen and provides respite care and tutoring for another. She and her paramedic husband Mark have been married for 24 years. Glenda’s writings often reflect her personal experience parenting and teaching children with developmental and learning differences, as well as a particular empathy for moms with chronic illness. She blogs at http://pwsmommy.homeschooljournal.net/ and can be reached by emailing glenda.harbinson@gmail.com

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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