The Big Race
What about forgiving ourselves?
Some have said that they cannot forgive others, but what about those who say, "I could never forgive myself?" They sound so right. If they meant that they do not deserve forgiveness, they are right. It is true with all of us. But more than often they mean, "My sin is so bad that even God can't forgive me." They again put themselves in a position that sets a nail into their coffin. This unopenness to consider God's truth on the matter has often caused eternal heartbreak.
The best way to deal with deep wounds about our failures is to find God's forgiveness, make due apologies and restitution to the best we are able and commit ourselves to living rightly. We have done wrong. We undoubtedly deserve the worst. But if our Savior died in our stead to help us, shall we dam ourselves to a judgment that no longer exists?!
The apostle Paul called himself the worst of sinners. His solution was to seek God for extra grace to help more people. If Jesus did not condemn Paul to a life of shame but as an honored apostle, then we should follow this pattern of grace. Paul used his own wicked past to testify how God can forgive others. Remember, he would not be able to bring back the lives of those innocent Christians that he had killed. He could only trust God to bring about a greater grace.
" I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service; even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are [found] in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost [of all.] And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life." (I Timothy 1:12-16)
These offenses should never have happened. But just as Christ came to save and not to judge, so we need to operate from love and grace rather than by judgment. By forgiving a person, we are not saying they are good or that no harm came. Not at all. We are merely stating that we are not personally going to hold it against them. We relieve them of that debt.
What about asking others to forgive ourself?
This is the end of Overcoming Lust Series. Maybe you would like to go to the Marriage Navigator with 60+ articles on marriage. This is separated into three categories: Readying for Marriage, Developing a Better Marriage and Improving a Bad Marriage.
We also recommend Christians in Recovery which provides moral support and lots of resources on overcoming sexual problems.