Recently I have written blog posts about guilt and the consequences of sin especially sexual sin. But I think it’s also important to talk about forgiving yourself when it comes to sin.
After dealing with guilt, it may be still hard to forgive yourself because of the shame you feel and the consequences of the sin. However, forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others. If you don’t forgive yourself you will always be bound to your past and it will be hard to move forward. So below are some tips to help you:
- I believe the main way to forgive yourself is through prayer, fasting and reading the bible. You need to meditate on scriptures in the bible that speaks of God’s love for you. There are loadsssss. Remind yourself that God is loving and not condemning. However, he wants the best for you so you need to come back to him even when you fall. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)
- Next, write down what you have learnt from this situation and what things you may need to put into place in order for you not to commit the same sin. Whether it’s turning your phone off when you feel tempted to watch pornography or not messaging Bob when you feel lonely or delete all the lustful songs on your playlist because they encourage you to think lustfully and masturbate. Flee the evil desires of your youth and pursue righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22) MISTAKE + CORRECTION = LEARNING!
- Next, I would recommend writing a letter to yourself. Saying you forgive yourself. I know… a bit weird but it actually helps. Let me show you a brief example:
I forgive myself for going to Bob’s house and having sex with him even though I knew I shouldn’t have. I felt really bad and I know it wasn’t the wisest decision so next time I will not entertain Bob when he says… ‘Yoooo big head I have been thinking about you’. But instead, I will pray and remind myself that I am worth more. I will read a scripture such as 1 Thessalonians 4:3 which says… it is God’s will that you should be sanctified and if I still feel like going to Bob’s house I will call a God fearing friend and tell her how I am feeling….
- This brings me to my next point talk to someone about the way you are feeling (God is still working on me with this one). Call up a friend, a leader in the church or a mentor. Someone that can pray with you, encourage you and check up on you.
I hope this helps you to forgive yourself they are many teachings out there on forgiving yourself. I would recommend watching The Beginning of Heroism by Dr Matthew Stevenson (click here to watch- skip to 35mins). He talks about conviction, condemnation and forgiving yourself. Remember you can’t change your past but you can change your future with the help of God. All hope is not gone because you made a mistake. There is still hope, hope in Jesus Christ.
I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead
Here to declare to you my past is over in you
All things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ
I’m moving, moving forward ♫