“I can never forgive myself for that!”
People tell us to forgive ourselves – but How?
Here is one idea. Go to the mirror and say,
“I forgive you for… (the past event).
You have within you all you need to grow in self-esteem,
self-confidence, and self-respect.
I forgive you because you deserve to be forgiven.”
Does that sound strange? It is! We can’t redeem ourself?
Do you just declare you are forgiven and that’s it? No!
There is no place in the Bible, no Scripture, and no command that
requires you to forgive yourself.
Consider the 3 types of sins:
1. You sin against God.
2. You sin against someone.
3. Someone sins against you.
God’s Word says, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
Jesus shed His blood to cover every sin ever committed.
Consider the 3 types of forgiveness:
1. We ask God to forgive us because of the blood of Jesus.
2. We ask someone to forgive us because of the blood of Jesus.
3. We forgive someone because of the blood of Jesus.
We do not need to forgive ourselves.
He forgives us. “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful to forgive us
our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
It is as simple as that. When we struggle to forgive ourselves,
we are trying to take God’s place. We are saying that God’s forgiveness is
not enough. We have higher standards than He does. We say, “How could I
have been so stupid to do that or let that happen?”
God is faithful to forgive you. End of story. You are forgiven. Believe that by faith.
The struggle to forgive yourself is part of Satan’s scheme to keep you in doubt and fear.
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
Has God forgiven you? Has the person you offended forgiven you? Then you are forgiven.
It is foolish to talk to yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are forgiven.
You can look in a mirror and say, “Hey, you, look up, God forgave you. That person forgave you. Now drop your standard and enjoy God’s forgiveness.”
Is the blood of Jesus sufficient to pay for your sins and those who sin against you?
What more can you do?
Praise Him for His forgiveness. Walk in it, believe it and drop your standard.
A new survey by Pew and Time reveals that young people express a “deep ambivalence” about marriage across the board, and are increasingly wary of getting hitched. Thirty-nine percent of the 2,691 people surveyed think marriage is becoming obsolete.
Today 2.8 million American couples are living together outside of marriage.
When no relationship with God is evident then there is no authority. Everyone becomes his/her own authority. What does God say?
It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to stand up for your rights. Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.
1 Corinthians 7:2-4 (MSG)
That says it all. It’s about giving not getting. Sexual activity is a wonderful privilege reserved for those committed to each other in marriage.
The Bible says that, “Perfect love casts out fear.” If we love God and let His love fill us we can make the commitment of marriage. He can give us the love we need for our spouse. Otherwise we are left to our selfish fearful selves. God’s ways are always best and right! Marriage is not obsolete but obedience to God is becoming obsolete.
Yesterday I bought new running shoes. I’m planning to run a half- marathon in December and a full marathon in February. Today my right foot hurts. Why? I think God is reminding me not to feel proud because I can run a bit.
God gets our attention by temporal means.
Check out these verses from Isaiah,
The people of Moab will pray in anguish to their idols, but it will do them no good. (Isaiah 16:12)
The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence. ( Isaiah 19:1)
Even God’s people had idols. He says to those in Damascus:
In that day man will look to his Maker. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands. For you have forgotten the God of your salvation. (Isaiah 17:7-10)
What are the idols in your life that God is seeking to destroy? What has caused you to drift away from the God of your salvation?
Has He gotten your attention:
Physically? Could your idol be appearance?
Financially? Could your idol be money?
Relationally? Could your idol be a person?
Be aware of temporal issues that God may allow to get your attention to bring you back to Him.
People are choosing to live together prior to marriage. Why is that?
> New Norms – that was then – - this is now!
> Self protection – two radio talk show hosts said, “Why would we want to get married? If things don’t work out and we get a divorce then she gets 50% of all I own. That’s not a good deal!”
> Fear – So many of my friends have gotten married and are now divorced. How will I know if this will work?
What is the answer? Statistics? Sure, they indicate that those who live together prior to marriage will be divorced more often. But, most people don’t think statistics apply to them.
What about family guilt? Those who try to pressure their children to get married prior to living together often drive their children away.
Is there any source for this answer? Yes, even if you don’t know all the evidences for the reliability of the Bible, it is a consistent source of good advice and has been for hundreds of years.
Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
Fornication is defined as, “Voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons.” Adultery involves one or both persons who are married but not to each other.
Ask these questions, “Are we honoring marriage by living together? Do we care what God says?
Marriage is a serious choice. You must become legally, economically, socially, and emotionally committed in every way to each other and be willing to give up your independence. If you are not willing to totally commit yourself then how do you justify allowing yourself the sexual privilege which is reserved for marriage?
God’s way is always the best way – really! He can give you the power to do what He says. Let Him be the Lord in this important area of your life.
Marriage is truly a difficult topic. Today the divorce rate is astronomical. More than half of all marriages end in divorce. What’s wrong? Why can’t we stay married? In part it is because we often get married for the wrong reason. We put unattainable expectations on our spouse to be, we say things like he or she will fulfill me, he or she will make my life better, he or she will complete me, my life will be perfect because of him or her. Can anyone live up to this? I think not.
In fact, God has a different take on relationships. He tells us how to act in any relationship. Because marriage is the quintessential relationship, I believe His advice works well for marriage. It is found in the book of Philippians chapter 2 verses 3 through 5:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus …
When you get married and your orientation is “others directed” (toward your new wife or husband) and your spouse has the same attitude – what a marvelous marriage it will be. You’ll be falling all over each other trying to please. In this atmosphere love will thrive and oneness will be achieved.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if every pastor would, in pre-marital counseling, share this and other truths just like it and the couple would hear and apply this to their marriage? What would the divorce rate be then? I’m sure it would be considerably less.