“Love yourself–accept yourself–forgive yourself–and be good to yourself.” –a quote from popular American speaker and writer, Leo Buscaglia. However, Jesus said: “Deny yourself.” Here’s why the popular idea of “forgiving yourself” is a myth:
* You are not the judge. If you stand in a courtroom before a judge and he asks you, “How do you plead?” the judge won’t be satisfied if you respond with the words: “Your honor, I forgive myself.” He will probably respond by saying: “You are not the judge! Do you plead guilty or not guilty?” (If you are guilty, you need the judge’s forgiveness–if you are not guilty, you don’t need anybody’s forgiveness, including your own.)
* You are not the offended party. All wrong doing is ultimately against God and His moral law. King David told God: “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” You need to receive and to accept God’s forgiveness, rather than attempting to do something that you cannot do, give yourself forgiveness.
* Self-forgiveness is not biblical. Don’t accept my word for it. Search the Bible and see for yourself. You won’t find the words or the concept “forgive yourself” anywhere in the Bible.
* Self-forgiveness is denial. Trying to forgive yourself is the denial that your harmful, hurtful, and wrongful thoughts and actions are sins against God, not sins against yourself. Like all denial, self-forgiveness will not produce a long-term solution to your guilt problem.
If you are feeling shame or condemnation, if you are guilty, you don’t need to forgive yourself. However, you desperately need forgiveness from the living God.
How do you receive God’s forgiveness? Confess (admit) your sins to God. Let your sin break your heart. Sincerely repent and turn away from your sins. Ask God to forgive you, then surrender your life to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ and begin to follow and obey Him daily.
In conclusion, quotations about self-forgiveness sound nice: “Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.” –motivational speaker, Les Brown However, without the forgiveness of the living God, self-forgiveness is a false assurance, a deception.