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!
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 http://www.ChristianInspirational.org and sign-up for the FREE Christian Living e-course. Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/christiansfaith