Forgiveness is a difficult task because it is a fight against the flesh, our emotions, and impulses to relive the moment we were wronged by others all over again. Now magnify that fight and emotion by 100 when you are struggling to forgive yourself. When we have fallen short it is harder for us to forgive ourselves. Many times we are our own worst enemy and biggest critic. We know the intimate details, we amplify the situation in our minds, we entertain the thoughts, and in some regards we cultivate the situation giving it life and eventually it consumes our every thought.
As a teenager, I fell short of the plans my parents had for my life by having a child before I graduated high school. The condemnation from my father cut deep as he uttered the words, “This is the beginning of the end of your life”. Having these words come from a person I held in high regard and who was an authority figure in my life hurt me to my core.
From that point and for the next five years I condemned myself daily. I begin to work hard to please my father, I wanted him to be proud of me, and I never wanted to feel the way I felt when he told me, “This is the beginning of the end of your life”. Ultimately, I wanted and needed to forgive myself. I carried this “unforgiveness” well into my twenties.
So, how do we start to heal and forgive ourselves when the guilt and shame of a situation has us in bondage? First question is how can we not forgive ourselves when God already has?
Rejoice in knowing that the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving! Pray, repent, and know with confidence that God is in control.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”. (Ephesians 4:32)
Find a local church with a strong foundation and immerse yourself in God’s Word. Don’t just attend church – make sure you connect, become rooted, serve, and invite others.
Live every day to please our Heavenly Father. The plans you or others have for your life may not be the plans God has for your life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The road to healing for me started during a Sunday School lesson. We were having a discussion about, you guessed it – “Unforgiveness”. An older woman was giving her testimony about unforgiveness she had carried for years until she finally went to the altar and left it there. It sounded so simple but I knew from experience it wasn’t that easy. But what she said next started my healing process and continues to empower my life. She said that after she left the altar that day, every morning since she has been asking “God to Command her Day.” That was powerful and it empowered me to let go of the shame, guilt, and unforgiveness I had carried so long.
We must trust God completely. We must let go and let God have his way. We must let His Word lead us into righteousness. We must be wise. We must listen and obey. We must let God Command our Day!
BY LASHONDA WISE