Forgiving Ourselves

From the archives of Evelyn Roberts

When I was growing up, there were people in our church who went to the altar for salvation every time someone came to town to conduct a revival service. Why? Because they believed they had “backslidden” in their relationship with the Lord during the time between revivals. Many of them had been taught incorrectly that if you make one little mistake in life, you fall out of relationship with God.

I don’t believe that’s true. We may let go of God, but God doesn’t let of us! The Bible says that we are purchased by the blood of Jesus. We belong to Him and He calls us His own. (See Acts 20:28.) The Bible also says that God is long-suffering toward us, and full of compassion and mercy. (See II Peter 3:9 and Psalm 86:15.)

The difficult part for most of us is in forgiving ourselves, picking ourselves up, and moving forward in our lives.

How do we forgive ourselves? First, we ask the Lord to search our hearts and to show us where we have sinned against Him and against other people. We can pray as the psalmist prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see of there by any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23˗24).

Next, when God shows us our sins, we can repent of them and ask His forgiveness. The Bible promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9). We admit our sins to God, ask Him to forgive us, and then BY FAITH, we need to take God at His Word and believe that He has forgiven us. If God, who is holy and just, has forgiven us, then surely we can forgive ourselves!

Finally, the Bible promises that when God forgives us, He also “forgets” our sin. Our sins, as far as God is concerned, have been removed from us forever. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).