After a weekend at Seminary learning about the gospel in the book of Romans, I was sitting in Sunday School at my church. I noticed my fellow singer in praise team sitting nearby, and Jesus laid it on my heart to pray for her. During Sunday School class about letting go of the past, I understood the following and wrote it down in my journal. I shared it in Sunday School class, and she asked me for a copy of it, because she felt like it was for her. Then she gave that copy to a friend and asked me for another copy so I decided to post it here:
Why is it so hard to forgive myself? Because I’m not letting go of my own being the Judge. I’m beating myself up because I am the one deciding, “This is bad, therefore I will assign my own punishment.” This is foreign to the true repentance of Righteousness. The true repentance of righteousness is releasing your own judgment of right and wrong by which you determine how right or how wrong you are. And once you have released your own standard of right and wrong, that silence is next filled with the terrifying, uncontrollable reality of God’s Righteousness– the true standard of right and wrong. And in looking at the Righteousness of God, we see our sin, and we confess it, and He forgives us, and we are deeply and truly forgiven, because we have a voice of “You are forgiven” from the Father, and not yourself.
So the question is not, forgiving yourself. You don’t have the right to forgive yourself!
I think this to be correct if I’m reading it right. We don’t really forgive ourselves for sins because this really is an impossibility. We see God’s righteousness in His Son, and we see our unrighteousness in comparison to that and it can never be reconciled. I found peace is asking those I have wronged for forgiveness and I think you should do that. But I see in myself not one good thing, and if I tell others I have been forgiven by Christ, it is because God’s justice is settled through Jesus’ death. David was never allowed to forgive himself as the “sword never departed his door”. But David, I and you are not justified by our self-forgiveness, but by God’s. So the idea of “self-forgiveness” smacks of Freudian/Jung/Rogers humanistic approach to sinfulness. In other words, “I’m just human” approach which rationalizes away the crimes of sin. We must always see ourselves in this life as needing a Savior each and every minute.
Thank you, Joe for commenting! First one is always exciting. 🙂 You’re absolutely right. Jesus is awesome isn’t he?!
– – The more seminal thoughts behind this post go back as far as Genesis 2 and 3, where the basic temptation of man was to put himself in the place of God, so that man could decided for himself what is good and what is bad. This self-judgment is ultimately rooted in pride and the snare of the Evil one. But God offers restoration of true humanity, humanity that is based on man’s rightful place under God as His image bearer and representative on earth, through faith in Jesus Christ, who came and bore my sin. He stands now in between me and the accuser and has proven the love and glory of God by taking all my sin to the grave, and emerging victorious, vindicated by God’s raising Him from the dead. So, Christ has shown us what a new creation looks like (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15): a restored humanity (this term is used by N.T. Wright in his book, What Saint Paul Really Said) which is based on the perfectly imaged son of God, the second Adam, who has come to make all things new. JESUS IS AWESOME!!! 😀 I will take His forgiveness, over my own forgiveness ANY day.