Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. Mark 16:7 NLT
Not forgiving myself for my unwise teenage decisions could have changed my future.
At 12, my future appeared bright. Dad was a preacher, and I intended to follow in his footsteps. Perhaps I would do it part-time because I also felt God wanted me to teach on the college or seminary level. Either way, I knew where I was headed…or so I thought. Satan knew too. He slithered in with my teen years and convinced me he had a better plan.
Like a starving catfish, I took the bait. Though I finally got back on God’s track—a part of which included forgiving myself for my foolish and sinful actions, I wasted quite a few years.
Peter was in a similar boat. Denying three times that he knew Christ was more than just a small slip-up. I’m sure he regularly beat himself up on the inside. Maybe that’s why the angel singled him out when he told the women to tell the disciples Jesus was alive and would meet them in Galilee.
Satan loves nothing better than to witness a defeated Christian. God forgave all my sins when I accepted Christ as my Savior, but His forgiveness didn’t make me perfect. Dwelling on what I’ve done and refusing to forgive myself sets me up for a life of wasting the gifts God has given me. And Satan loves every minute of watching me wallow in self-pity. God is a holy God, but if He can forgive my sinful foibles, I must learn to forgive myself.
When I fail to forgive myself, I limit God’s power in my life. God is perfectly able to work all things together for my good and His glory—my mistakes included, but I must accept His forgiveness, forgive myself, and move on. Rather than allowing my mistakes to chain me, I can use them to help others who may be struggling with similar issues.
Refusing to forgive myself is after all illogical. My sin offends a holy God, but if He can forgive me, who am I not to forgive me? Failing to forgive myself is requiring more of me than God does—and He makes the rules.
Don’t let refusing to forgive yourself hold you back from God’s plan for your life.
Prayer: Father, enable us to forgive ourselves just as You forgive us so we can move on with Your plan.