How Can I Forgive Myself?

Many people find it hard to forgive themselves for sins they have committed. The prodigal son felt that was no longer worthy to be called his father?s son (Luke 15:19). The publican could not lift his eyes in prayer but was beating his breast (Luke 18:13). The apostle Paul cried out, ?Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?? (Rom. 7:24). Sin makes a person feel small in his own eyes.
If, Christian friend, in your heart you have sincerely repented of sin, you can find peace. There is hope for you! You can go to heaven! Here are some suggestions for you:
1. Focus your attention, not on your past, but on what you have become in Christ. Paul was the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:12-14), but he determined to forget what lies behind and to reach forward to what lies ahead (Phil. 3:13-14). He did not feel fit to be called an apostle; but ?by the grace of God? Paul could say, ?I am what I am? (1 Cor. 15:9-10). God takes a man where He finds him and makes him into what He wants him to be.
One of my favorite sayings is: ?I?m not all I ought to be; I?m not all I want to be; I?m not all I?m going to be; but, thank God, I?m not what I used to be.?
As new creatures in Christ, we ought to believe that the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17). A new birth is just that! The old man of sin was crucified with Him (Rom. 6:6-7), and we are raised to walk in newness of life?born again! (Rom. 6:4-5; John 3:3-7).
2. Trust the promises of God?s Word rather than your feelings. Feelings can deceive and do not determine the truth (Luke 5:4-9). God promises, ?I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more? (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12). When God forgives, He no longer counts our trespasses against us (2 Cor. 5:21). Since we are new creatures in Christ, let us also no longer count against ourselves those trespasses. The one who did those things died with Christ. We are truly born again.

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Phil Sanders

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