Today’s Scripture: Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; 1 John 4:17-18
Have you ever heard someone say, “I know God has forgiven me, but I just can’t forgive myself”? What causes a person to have such a mindset?
True forgiveness is a magnificent thing. It goes beyond overlooking the wrongdoing. Forgiveness includes the release of punishment. When Jesus forgave those who crucified Him, He gave an excuse for their heinous actions—“Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” Even Stephen, while he was being stoned by the angry mob, prayed for his persecutors—“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
People who cannot forgive themselves have a difficult time accepting a punishment-free concept. Yes, they’re forgiven, but they need to pay penance. In reality, we ALL deserve to pay for our wrongdoings. But, Jesus paid top price so we could experience forgiveness without penalty and memory without stain.
If we’re worthy enough for the Lord to forgive us, why can’t we consider ourselves worthy of self-forgiveness? It may boil down to our acceptance of His love. John said, “Love is made complete so we will have confidence on the day of judgment . . . perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment . . . “
Jesus told the adulterous woman, “Neither do I condemn you . . . go now and leave your life of sin.” This woman, who had looked for love in all the wrong places, was now face-to-face with the One Who offered a love free of condemnation. All she had to do was embrace it.
Do you want to forgive yourself? Embrace His love. He thinks you’re worthy.
- What does “perfect love drives out fear” mean to you? What role does fear play with those who cannot forgive themselves?