Nobody told me that I had to forgive myself when I became a Christian.
Just like you, I’ve been wounded and hurt by others. Some have been scratches, and some have been shots to the heart.
We tend to remember those who have hurt us. I can remember stones thrown by friends, pointed arrows from family members, and even some jabs from strangers. In my life, I’ve struggled with vengeance, anger, and bitterness.
A number of years ago I’d been wounded very deeply, and I was having immense trouble letting it go – until one day when I found myself getting riled up again about the situation and the person who caused it. Then it struck me:
Jesus forgave me. Completely. Totally. Because He forgave me, I must forgive others. Jesus wasn’t up in Heaven brooding on the fact that I wounded Him, nor did He begrudgingly forgive me. It doesn’t matter how deep the wound is or who it comes from: I must forgive. Everybody. EVERYBODY.
Last night, these truths got turned on their head when I realized that I’ve never forgiven the person who arguably has hurt me the most in my life. The person who is always the first to call me stupid, weak, worthless, or useless. The man who knows how to make the fresh wounds hurt the most. The cruelest guy I know:
I’m still kind in the ‘shock’ phase. What does forgiving myself look like? How do I do it? I really don’t know.
I’m not too worried. Remember that day God opened my eyes to the fact I needed to forgive everybody, no matter how deep the wound? That day, He changed my heart so I could forgive. Other than acknowledging the fact that I must forgive them, I really didn’t do much. God did. Not long after that old revelation, I found myself no longer angry at the person who’d hurt me so deeply, and other, older wounds began to decrease too.
If God walked with me though forgiving others, He’s going to help me learn how to forgive myself.