The Hardest Person to Forgive
Forgiveness is both a powerful and difficult thing. I gave a presentation/class on it during one of my psychiatric rotations in nursing school and I had no idea of the weight of what I was stepping into.
While many of the individuals were reflective on who they needed to forgive and how they could go about that, there was one lady who just stuck on the fact that she could not forgive the individual she needed to forgive and because of that, she could not forgive herself. And because of that, she had no hope.
She just could not handle it.
I wish so badly I would have told her now, that regardless of how she felt about her ability to forgive, that she personally, had already been forgiven - when Jesus went to the cross.
Because that's how forgiveness works with Jesus. He doesn't say, "You must do this, and you will be forgiven." He says, "You are forgiven, now follow me."
I had a friend ask me recently, "How do you forgive yourself?"
And I had never really thought about it before, but after some reflection, I think it is safe to say that the hardest person to forgive in life will always be ourselves.
I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I've replayed a situation where I have made a mistake over and over in my head wishing I had done differently. Feeling horrible about what I said or what I did and letting shame and guilt bury any reason I had to try and forgive myself.
The answer I gave my friend, wasn't necessarily your typical, "how-to" answer. Simply because, I'm not really sure there is a book of "how-to's" on forgiveness. There are a lot of other factors that play into any situation where forgiveness is required.
But here's what I will say in regards to forgiving ourselves:
I think that the biggest reasons why we can't forgive ourselves are because of the feelings we have of shame and guilt and unworthiness. We feel unredeemable.
And these feelings are from the devil.
Jesus didn't die on the cross so that we would let sin separate us from Him. Jesus died on the cross to break down the barriers that sin puts between us and Him.
Jesus died for every "unredeemable" thing we have ever done and we will ever do, and He said, "It is finished."
You have been forgiven. All you have to do is accept it. Don't believe the devil's lies that say, "It just can't be that easy."
It wasn't that easy. Our savior was beaten, mocked, tortured, and crucified.
And if we don't believe that it was for us, and for our sin, then it was for nothing.