Forgive Myself? It’s Not That Simple!

The hardest person to forgive always seems to be the one closest to you—yourself. We always judge ourselves most harshly.

I believe it’s because:

  • We know our own motivations. It’s pretty hard to say to yourself, “That’s okay. I know you didn’t really mean it.” But that’s excusing, not forgiving!
  • We know we did something wrong and we live with the guilt from that action. It’s not like we can claim ignorance.
  • Many of us have a deep pool of shame from the past. That shame makes us feel like we don’t deserve forgiveness.

Do you have something festering in your soul that demands you forgive yourself, but you just can’t do it? Well, there’s good news. You forgive yourself the same way you forgive someone else!


woman in red thinking

I can just hear you now:

“But it’s not that simple!”

Actually, it can be.


  1. You have to start with God. Acknowledge that you have done something wrong and that it hurt someone else or yourself, or even Him.
  2. Let Him you know you are sorry for what you did, but you just can’t manage to forgive yourself. Ask Him to show you how He feels about it and about you.
  3. Remind yourself of who you are. Ask Him to reveal it to your heart. Remember, you are the bride of Christ, redeemed by His blood, a beloved child of the King. You are the righteousness of God in Christ and a joint heir with Him. You do not deserve shame since you have dealt with the guilt of your wrongdoing.
  4.  Release yourself from your own judgment and into His. Ask Him for help. Don’t be afraid. I can guarantee your self-judgment is much worse than His righteous verdict.
  5. Ask Him to forgive you for judging yourself when it was not in your authority to do so. Wait quietly in His presence for Him to speak to you. A huge problem with people today is that we are always in a hurry. Don’t you think it’s rude to ask Him a question and not wait for an answer?
  6. Don’t forget to thank Him for helping you forgive yourself and for forgiving you for judging.cross in hands

So, there you have it. We have all believed lies about forgiveness. Now that we know the truth, it sure takes the pressure off, doesn’t it?

We don’t have to muster up the power to forgive; we just turn the perpetrator over to the only  Judge Who has true authority.

We don’t let the person off the hook but we take him (hook and all) to the Lord.

We don’t need to forget because that would keep us from helping others get through it.

One more thing: if you circle the date on a calendar, you can point right to it when the enemy accuses you of not forgiving. The evidence is clear. You made a choice and you followed through with God’s help.

And you are free from judgment.

Part 5 of a 5 part series on forgiveness

Part 1| Reduce Rage, Promote Peace: You Can Forgive

Part 2| I Shudder to Think About Forgiving

Part 3| God Needs My Permission to do His Job?

Part 4| Forgiveness Nuts and Bolts

Part 5| Forgive Myself? It’s Not that Simple!

Illustrations courtesy of