“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
Father, we give you thanks that because of the paid blood of Jesus Christ, we can live free. We thank you that not only do you forgive us of all our sins but that because of Jesus we are not only able to forgive others but also ourselves. There is no condemnation to those who are in you. We give you praise and glory in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The other night my ten-year-old daughter and I were having a devotional time as we do before bed each night. The devotional was on forgiveness. She said something I didn’t expect her to say. She confessed that she believes God forgives her of her sin but that sometimes she has a hard time forgiving herself. She confided that even after asking God to forgive her, she often will beat herself up over and over again after she has made a mistake and sinned.
I have to admit, I have been guilty of that as well at times. However, I do not believe it pleases the Lord in any way when we refuse to forgive ourselves of the sins Jesus suffered and died on the cross to forgive and cleanse. In fact, it grieves Him.
Another Deeper Still Team member, Carla Martin, said the Lord revealed to her one day that she was often living like His Word said, “There is now ‘not nearly so much’ condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” However, the Lord pointed out to Carla that is not what He said. He said there is “no” condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. No. Not any. None.
The Lord has clearly said that if we do not forgive others, He cannot forgive us. (Matt 6:15, Matt 6:14) What about ourselves? Does it apply to us?
Jesus paid a dear price. Is it not selfish of us and even prideful to not receive the gift that cost Him His life? He willingly and lovingly paid it. It is a gift for us to receive. This is how I explained this to my daughter.
What if I had a gift I wanted to give her. This gift had cost me greatly and I had gone to much trouble to get it for her, because I loved her. I was very excited about her having this gift. My love for her is the reason I put forth all the effort to purchase this gift for her. But what if when I went to give it to her, she expressed she didn’t deserve such a gift and refused to take it? Or just took part of it, but not the whole gift. How would that make me feel? Would I be happy she didn’t feel she deserved such a gift or sad that my daughter refused to accept the gift I desperately wanted to give her?
I hear often of women who have had abortions and the men who father those children saying that they believe God has forgiven them but they cannot forgive themselves. These women and men do not feel worthy of forgiveness. They do not feel they deserve the gift the Lord wants to give them. I understand. I use to feel that way and sometimes I know I don’t receive forgiveness as quickly as the Lord would like me to receive it.
If you are someone who has had an abortion or has trouble forgiving yourself for other sins, this is not to condemn you. Lord have mercy. Not in anyway. That would be the exact opposite of the reason for this post. What I do hope is that you will give yourself permission to forgive yourself. And if you are not sure how to do that, to ask the Lord to help you forgive yourself. He wants you to receive ALL He has for you. He wants you to receive the full gift He has for you! He is beyond excited to give it to you! For those of you who struggle with this, I would love to pray for you personally. I will post a prayer below but if you leave a comment, I will also pray for you specifically in a reply.
God loves you so much and it is His desire for all of us to live in the fullness of Him and without any condemnation, completely free of guilt or shame. You are forgiven. You are His.
Father, I pray for those reading today who have had a hard time forgiving themselves. They believe You have forgiven them, but do not feel that they can forgive themselves. Father, I pray they would receive the fullness of the gift you have for them today. Help them live fully free in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.