I wrote recently about the importance of forgiving others in order to move on from the past. But many of us, myself included, find it more difficult to forgive ourself than others. I tend to hold on to guilt. I will pull some (best left forgotten) memory out of the blue and beat myself up over it. We don’t do that to others. We don’t punish our friends over and over every time we remember something they did wrong. So why do it to ourself? I think it is the devil whispering lies in our ear. This is one of the many ways he will try to come in and steal our happiness. He has studied you (and me) and knows how to hit us the hardest. He wants us to live in darkness and despair and bondage.
Withholding self-forgiveness can cause suffering and affect our self-esteem and even our mental health. Again, we are all human and it is in our nature to mess up. We should see our mistake as a learning experience that helps us to make better choices in the future.
Guilt is our way of trying to pay for our sins. But Jesus already paid the entire price. Nothing else is owed and He doesn’t need us to pay Him back. We know that if we ask God for forgiveness, our sins are thrown into the depths of the sea and are remembered no more. If God can move on, we should too. We must simply accept the forgiveness. Release the sins we are trying to hold on to and refuse to revisit them in our mind. And when Satan tries to remind us, just tell him “No sin is bigger than my Savior.”