Has the weight of your guilt ever crushed you? Have you ever asked for God’s forgiveness but doubted it? Does God’s mercy seem too good to be true? Is the act of forgiving yourself even Biblical?
The Doctrine of Forgiveness
God’s forgiveness is all-encompassing His grace is generous to cover all of our sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) All unrighteousness? Available to the vilest offender who truly believes?
If God’s forgiveness is available to everyone, why do we find it difficult to accept?
Why do we continue feeling unforgiven?
In Galatians, Paul takes extra care to address this feeling. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)
Over and over again, Paul writes about the freedom available from the law and the new grace Christ has ushered the Galatians into.
Even more important, Paul emphasizes the reckless love of God and His ultimate gesture of forgiveness on the cross.
“I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me,” (Galatians 2:20).
Grace has Nothing to do With Us, but Everything to do With God.
He took a monumental step so we wouldn’t have to. We couldn’t have found our way out of sin’s messiness anyway.
We’ve all gone our own way, and fallen short of God’s standard. That’s why God has laid our sins on Jesus Christ, the sinless and blameless lamb. (Isaiah 53:6)
While the inability to forgive ourselves may stem from several areas, the main reason is the failure to grasp the depth of God’s grace for us.
Lauren Daigle’s song How Can it Be? echoes this:
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be, how can it be?
The Mess of Sin
We’ve often built our own complicated messes. We’ve done wrong things for so long.
When it comes to Godly expectations, we set the bar so high that God’s forgiveness seems unattainable.The Challenge We Face when Embracing #grace is that We try to Add to the Equation when the Sum is already Paid. Click To Tweet
The equation is simple and straightforward. Faith = Salvation. No additions or subtractions.
What do we have to gain by living in guilt or a sense of unfulfillment when Christ has fully freed us from the weight of guilt?
Galatians 2:21 says, “for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. ” The last thing we want is Christ’s death on the cross to be rendered futile.
Forgiving Yourself is not Something You Grant Yourself.
It is believing in the power of God’s forgiveness alone. It’s the acceptance of His grace and the peace that comes with it. It’s a total dependence on His mercy and trusting that His forgiveness is enough to cover a multitude of sins.
“He that will enter in must first without
Stand knocking at the Gate, nor need he doubt
That is a knocker but to enter in;
For God can love him, and forgive his sin” Pilgrim’s Progress (110)
Trusting in the Power of God’s Forgiveness
When we begin to fully trust in the power of God’s forgiveness, we receive a perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
The sins we leave at the cross, are cast into the depths of the sea. We’ve been made new.
Every time we ask God for forgiveness, he simply forgives.
The weight of your guilt doesn’t have to crush you anymore. Grace took care of it.
And the fact remains: you are forgiven. No sin is too complicated for God’s forgiveness.
No one who calls on His name goes unheard.
When caught in the strongholds of being unable to forgive yourself, remember this:
God has forgiven you.
You are free…that is enough.
Alice William is a wife and programmer with a passion for writing. She started Walking in Word by journaling her Bible Studies. She enjoys studying God’s word and is often amazed by the way God reveals His wisdom through them. Her desire is to encourage other women in their walk with God with words that He has used to strengthen her own walk with Him. Her passion for this blog has always been to share with women what she has learned from God’s word, how it has changed her spiritual walk and encourage them in their walk with God. Download Alice’s free eBook Lessons from Joel – Discovering a God of Second Chances here.