When not forgiving yourself is the problem

In Christian culture we use the word “forgiveness” a lot. We believe in God who takes all of our imperfections, shortcomings, failures, and justifies us by his grace. Many of us, however, secretly live a double life of shame.

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Ne believe in the power of God's mercy, but our thoughts dwell on our mistakes that God made on the cross. We carry the weight of the guilt. We are so deeply aware of our own imperfections, that despite our knowledge of the grace of God, we do not evolve in this freedom.

How can we learn to live in the grace that has been given to us with so much love?

  • Let's make peace with our regrets

We sometimes tend to confuse guilt with regret. Some of our actions are not bad, some of our choices do not produce the desired effect, but it does not have to be sin.

Life is full of ups and downs, good choices and bad choices, and we have no control over events. We cannot go back, but we can move forward by being convinced that we have learned from these situations, because the obstacles in our lives make us grow and take us to new stages.

  • Have we asked for forgiveness?

When we are successful in asking God for forgiveness and begging his grace, it is often more difficult for us to ask forgiveness from those we may have hurt. It requires extra effort, but it is often an essential step, which leaves the possibility for the other to end their pain and allows us to leave the past behind.

  • Our mistakes are not our identity

Acknowledging our mistakes is an important step, but letting our actions define who we are is a drift. No matter what we do, we can experience the grace of the Lord, and allow ourselves to be transformed into Christ, for "he does not treat us according to our sins, does not return us according to our iniquities ..."

  • Let's make joy our priority

Punishing yourself by living in guilt will never make us feel better and free. We do not forgive ourselves, when God himself has already forgiven us.

When shame and guilt tell us we are unworthy, Jesus is there to reach out to us again. He asks us to remain in freedom and fully accept his grace.

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source: Relevant Magazine

 Originally published on November 8, 2016

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