How to Forgive Yourself

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Christian Articles, Forgiveness

No matter what the occasion, we often find ourselves looking for the best gift possible to give those we care about.  We want to find some token of our affection to give them that says, “I care about you.”  Of course, the best gifts to give those around us aren’t those that can be bought in any store.  To show how much we love others, we need to let go of the hurt and pain that they have caused and forgive them.  Love and forgiveness along with second chances are the best gifts we can possibly give to others.

But what about yourself?  Have you thought about giving yourself the gift of forgiveness this year?  Are you ready to be free and ready to move ahead into a life of graciousness and love in the future?  If you are, you must forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made – and that can be a difficult thing to do!  It’s easy to try and hide our mistakes and not think about them, but what we hide has power over us; it can sit there in the back of our minds and fester, eating away at our self-assurance and our sense of God’s love for us, making us wonder if we are truly worthy.  We have to let go of our mistakes and forgive ourselves just as God forgives us.  And He does forgive us, completely and with no reservations!

“You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful.”

- Nehemiah 9:17

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

- Luke 6:37

When you are ready to forgive yourself, there are six steps that I’ve found very helpful in helping me on the path to self-forgiveness.  Perhaps they will help you in your struggle to let go of you past mistakes and embrace forgiveness:

Six Steps Toward Forgiving Yourself

1.   Take out a sheet of paper and write your name at the top.  Now take some time to think about all of those things you’ve never let go of in your past that you haven’t forgiven yourself for.

2.   Write down what those transgressions are and who you hurt; how you hurt them, etc.  Was it verbal or physical abuse?  Dishonesty? Neglecting someone you cared about? Betrayal? Rejection? Theft? Rape? Lying? Addiction? Adultery?

3.   Write down how you feel about yourself because of these unresolved feelings over your past mistakes.  Be very honest with yourself.  Although you may have made amends or been forgiven by others, do you still feel unworthy?  God knows how you feel and He sees your heart.  Express on paper how you feel and let the emotions flow – release them!

4.   Decide to forgive yourself.  Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision of the will and one of the greatest Gifts from God.  He has told us to forgive and that He will give us the power to do so – but it all begins with the decision to do so.

5.   Take your list to God and acknowledge your forgiveness to Him.  “Lord, I come to You today and give up my unforgiveness.  I forgive myself for ____________________.  At this moment, I choose not to hold these offenses against myself, but put them into Your Hands.  God, heal my emotional wounds and help me to be able to move forward without regrets and help me to let go of the past and start fresh.  God give me the ability to  offer upliftment and comfort to someone else with the same comfort you have given me.   I release my past sins of ____________into Your Hands.”

6.   Destroy the list in private.  This visual exercise can be very freeing.  Whether you decide to shred it, burn it  or tear it up and scatter it in the trash, imagine your past mistakes being destroyed and floating away in the same manner.

This is what it means to be “born again.”  The Lord doesn’t want us to dwell on what has happened before – our lives as Christians are about who we are now and in the future, walking in forgiveness and love.  So give yourself a wonderful gift that is free of charge and yet priceless this year – forgive yourself!


Heavenly Father,

Alone with You in this moment of meditation and prayer, I release any unresolved feelings of resentment or regret.

Help me through this process of healing.

I release to you any unresolved feelings that I have toward myself.  I understand that not forgiving myself is disobedience toward you.

Forgive me for any pain that I have caused in the lives of others.  Forgive me for not letting go of the past and moving forward in love.

I experience now the relief of forgiveness to the depths of my being.

Heavenly Father, I acknowledge and give thanks for Your love that strengthens me, comforts and soothes me emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

In the complete fullness of Your Love, I can and do forgive myself.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for healing my heart and bringing Joy and Meaning back into my life.

In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

This is a new beginning releasing the past and embracing forgiveness. Forgiveness opens the door to the enrichment of all our relationships so that they flourish with understanding and love. With the forgiveness we express today we open the way to a brighter future.

Robert Moment is a Christian business coach, speaker and author of  newly published book, God Will Always Be There for You.  Robert is passionate about empowering individuals on how to experience God’s love, power , joy, peace, and prosperity. Visit and sign-up for the FREE Christian Living e-course.  Follow me on Twitter

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31 Responses to “How to Forgive Yourself”
  1. SharonLD says:

    Great post! Thank you :o )

  2. anagha says:

    Thank You so much 4 this post.. it has shown me a ray of hope.. god bless u :)

  3. Mona says:

    You will never understand how long i have been looking for something like this that can help and my emotional problems. God definatly worked His way into some positive things in the listsev!! God Bless you!!!

  4. shaktivel says:

    tats geat but i think people can be forgiven for their mistakes becoz god has created us i have done a lot of mistakes i think i should seek forgiveness to jesus oh god please forgive me and give me everything which i ask and which you feel it is right

  5. Prashant says:

    Thanks a lot!! Helped release the resistance within myself! God Bless!! and lots of love

  6. Tabbi says:

    Thanks….I have ready many things about self forgiveness…..and still felt unworthy…..but after reading this it made me realize….that I can brush myself off and move in the name of JESUS.

  7. Jesus Guerrero says:

    1 Corinthians Chapter 13 verse 12

    “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”

    That reflection is your consciousness, sometime God uses our guilt to bring him closer and restor our faith and relationship with people because we can never be satified and will feel guilty if we dont try to make up for our mistake “Guilt conscious” when you are able to understand what God is really trying to tell you and allow you to see after you Lose your life for him and show him your salvation, he wants you to forgive yourself and this will complete your process of restoring your heart.

    Have Faith in God, Have Hope and believe and Remember God loves you and he only does things to bring you back to him to be restored, he works in mysterious ways.

    Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that he is the Son of God and that he did die for our sins but was resurected and rose from the dead and conquered death

  8. Peggy says:

    Been struggling with my faith because numerous tragidies and struggles that have plaqued me over the past couple years. The feeling that God is punishing me or trying to affect some change in me has caused me to question what the plan is for me; the idea that my inability to let go of guilt and sadness and the thought that I caused the tragedies because of my human need to control life has brought me to this place. The idea of forgiving myself and letting go so God can work in my life never occurred to me until I read this. Now to try and actual do it……

  9. Robert says:

    Be Encouraged. Be Inspired. Be Your Best.

    God never consults with our past to determine our future.

    Your life matters to God and He sees the best in You…

    You are loved, chosen and blessed by God.

    Robert M
    Author and Life Coach

  10. Jordan says:

    Praise God it was definitely helpful for me to let go of my past by tearing up this peace of paper of all the transgressions I had thank you thank you. PTL I thank God that he is forgiving thank you Lord Hallejujah thank you Jesus

  11. Kadeem says:

    It is sometimes hard to let go especially when you know what you were doing was against God, which left not only you & your family hurt but your friends and those who use you as their bible.I pray the day will come when I can finally put into practice what I read in the bible & forgive myself. But for now it is just hard.

  12. Kieran says:

    Thank you Robert,
    Really needed to read those words.
    It hurts so bad and I hate myself so much but I do feel that God is there waiting for me to shine through, become the best I can and do as much positive as I can.
    Thank you

  13. Robert says:

    God loves you. God sees the best in you. God has a plan and purpose for your life. God will never leave you nor forsake you.

    Be encouraged and Be Inspired because your best days are ahead of YOU …

    May God continue to Bless You Richly,

    Robert Moment
    Spiritual Life Coach and Author

  14. TJ says:

    Thank you for this counsel and wisdom in speaking God’s truth. When someone has sinned against me or confesses a personal sin in their life to me, I forgive so easily. Not so with myself. It’s easy for me to listen to someone else, help them see where they got off track, pray with them to feel God’s comfort and love, and check in with them to see how they’re coping. This weekend I committed a sin in which I am having a horrible time forgiving myself. I hurt our heavenly Father, I hurt someone I love and I hurt myself. I am going to put your advice in action and hope that it helps. Satan wants me to stay in a state of unforgiveness with myself. God does not. I’d rather listen to God than Satan.

  15. Robert says:

    God is the same yesterday , today and tomorrow. Don’t ever be afraid to ask God for His forgiveness and guidance when you realize you’ve made a mistake-He loves you and will lead you along the right path. Keep God in First Place . Your life matters to God.

    Your best days are ahead of YOU!

    May God continue to Bless You Richly !

    Robert Moment
    Spiritual Life Coach and Author

  16. ron lang says:

    its very difficult to be a sinner and not feel guilty and that someday i must pay for those sins i pray that my life can be more peacefull knowing that i can be forgiven and in turn become a more tolerant and better person with those thoughts.

  17. ron lang says:

    i only ask that i be forgiven for past sins and be able to cope in a better life for me and my family

  18. Dan says:

    Thank you so much! After reading this, I could finally, and perhaps for the first time in my sinful life, forgive myself. God is so amazing and wonderful, and I knew I continually let him down. I never forgave myself, but now it is different. I can live life to the full! Thank you, and God bless you.

  19. joyous247 says:

    I just want to forgive myself so I can move on in this life it hurt so much when you carry hurt and pain .It so disappointing when you have committed sin and you want to forgive yourself and you don’t know how .But I realize you must let go and let God . So you can have peace with yourself and others whom you have cause hurt and pain. I just want to forgive myself !!!!!!!


  20. Matt says:

    Thank you. I have been confused on how to really forgive myself and this made it possible with the help of God. Thank and God bless

  21. kate bailey says:

    what’s on my mind is that this forgiveness thing is hard to do. Reading all the comments is all okay but the fact of the matter is doing this thing forgiveness boy is hard.I see the need to forgiving myself and its not an easy thing to do. The thing with the piece of paper is good but there is some crying to be done. lots of it. Because I hate myself for everything. And when I say everything? I mean everything ? I Really have to go to God with that list because I will still feel that i am being taken advantage of even though I forgive. I am hurting so much that saying forgive might not even do the job. It may take God , Holy Spirit and Jesus to flush it out of me. I am going to try that piece of paper thing and see what happens. so many people go through life hurting , we need some form of forum for this kind of thing. And I would like to start a little something in my hurt but I know it will go far and wide. I don’t always be on line because I don’t have my own computer but now I am connected with this website I will try my effort best to be on so I can be encouraged by these comments.

  22. denisse says:

    Thank you for this. I am not a religious person nor i attend church but i was raised Christian and always been sensitive towards prayer and the word of god. This literally brought me to tears. I have a hard time finding words to say and this is going to help me towards finding answers to what conflicts me right now agaon thank you:)

  23. Rachel says:

    it is very easy 4me to forgive others,bt vry diffcult forgvng my self,i made a terble mistake of my life,i tried tp hide it till i cnnot do so any more,i confessd ma sins to GOD bt i still thinkk of my past.its eating ,e inside am even loosing weight evryday of my lyf,evrytym i think abt the sins i’ve made.thank u 4 words of wisdom,i’ll put dose steps into practice i pray they help me,so dat i can move on wth my life and start afresh.

  24. Patrick says:

    Thank you for the post. I really needed to forgive myself for past mistakes. This has brought me closer once again to God and his Kingdom. I am truly blessed by this. I watched my list as it burned and turned into ashes. Now, I can move into what God has for me, thanks Robert,

    May God keep blessing all

  25. Eli says:

    Thank you very much, this has helped me tremendously and I am going to show others this to help them resolve any issues they have. Thank you and god bless.

  26. blueshoes says:

    It takes me a very long time to forgive my self. I just bet myself up over my mistakes. And that is bad, but other people never let me live down my mistakes. They just throw them in my face. Even my bosses. I have to remember that I am not perfect and to error is human. but to forgive and forget that is hard for me.

    I like the prayer its good, God forgives me, and that is what matters. But I wonder why people cannot forgive, me of my mistakes. I guess I am well hated.

  27. Alisa says:

    Thank you so much. I sinned against my husband by not trusting him this weekend. I feel so bad and I forgave him for losing his temper, but I am having so much trouble forgiving myself. We are hardest on ourselves, and I am especially. I know God can forgive me, but it is harder for me to forgive myself. I am going to do this, so here goes.

    Praise God—IT WORKS! I have never been so glad to see paper shred in my whole life. My guilt is gone! It is a modern day miracle!!!!

  28. jl says:

    I have an understanding of God’s forgiveness and what was done for me that He has made a way for this. I also have heard that forgiveness has been given from the people that I have destroyed. When I step into God’s forgiveness and peace I feel great joy. Then I either remember or see the wife and 4 children whose lives I have destroyed and all peace goes away. How can I forgive myself so that I can accept forgiveness. What I have done has made my wife’s life for the past 24+ years a living hell. And of course my children’s lives since they were born. They have to live with a lifetime of my my meanness, anger and emotional explosions their whole lives. My wife has not known love from a true husband as my children have not known love from a true father. Accepting any kind of peace from forgiveness is not something I can accept. When I see destroyed lives, that I have done, and then feel that I can move on with my life “fat dumb and happy (and forgiven)” is not possible.


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