In the church today, pastors preach about the power of forgiveness and why we should forgive others. This is a good thing-however-what if the person you need to forgive the most is you? Then what?

Let me ask you a question. Who do you see when you look into the mirror? Before you answer me though, I want you to grab an object that’s closest to you. Maybe it’s your cell phone, wallet, or water bottle. Place it in front of your face and now try to look in the mirror. What do you see? Instead of seeing your face all you can see is this thing - this object.

That’s kind of how we see ourselves when our vision is clouded. When all we can see is our problems? When we struggle to forgive ourselves, what we’re actually doing is placing our pride (or self pity) before God and saying, “I can’t be forgiven.”

Forgiving Me

In my new book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me I explain.

“The problem isn’t with God or the person who hurt you. It’s you! Ask God to expose each and every painful lie you’ve believed so you can confess your sins and be forgiven. God is love. He wants to set you free. He wants to help you control the only thing (well, person, really) who can change your circumstances—yourself. Don’t expect it to be an easy process. Exposing lies is painful and our heart can’t always be trusted…No matter how painful or how ugly you feel for being exposed, or mad you are at God for allowing your heart to break, know that there is healing” (27-28).

You might feel hidden behind your pain, and scared to expose each and every lie you’re believing-but I’m here to tell you it is possible to forgive yourself.

If you remember only two things from this article let it be these:

+ God disciples those He loves (let go of the lies).
+ God sharpens or prunes the parts of us that could be better (lies hinder growth)

I want to share with you a special prayer. One I wrote over a decade ago when I was struggling to forgive myself for choices I’d made with my health that landed me in the hospital. After I came home, I wrote this and never threw it away because it serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come. This is my prayer for you! Please feel free to pray this out loud or print it out and leave it as a reminder for you someday of how far you’ve come!

“Dear Jesus, I invite you to come move in me. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I want you to come and remove all my hurts and all my fears and all my sins. I give them to you. Please forgive me. Please forgive me. Please forgive me. Please forgive me, Lord! I know, Lord, that You allowed me to go through this darkened dungeon so that one day I could come into light and experience new life. Help me walk with you. Keep my feet from slipping. Let my life be beautiful. Teach me how to reach out to others and tell them about You, Jesus. That you died for us. That You save! That You can erase all the wrongs in our life and help us to overcome. Reconcile us, Jesus. I believe. Amen (Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, 66).

When All Else Fails, Pray!

I don’t know about you, but the hardest part for me was waiting for God to remove the hurt after I asked Him to forgive me. Sometimes God says “no” and for a Christian, that can be one of the toughest lessons to learn.

You know God has the power to heal, so why does He wait (or say no)?

You know you’re forgiven, so shouldn’t you feel set free?