Yes. You. I’m not talking about you forgiving the one or ones who have done you wrong.
I’m talking about you finally forgiving you. Letting yourself off the hook. Giving yourself grace. Remembering that you are a human being, prone to struggle, error and sin.
I’m talking about finally fully receiving the redemption and restoration that Christ died to give you.
Question: If you have genuinely turned from the old way of doing, being and thinking (aka repentance) and are actively working with God for restoration, healing and forward momentum in your life then why are you continuing to hold back a little? Why?
Every time we allow the lingering old residue thoughts of guilt and shame over what happened, we slowly corrode away our self-esteem.
Every time we engage in comparison and subtle competition because of lingering insecurities and unprocessed pain, we diminish ourselves.
Every time we allow our minds to ruminate and re-hash over all of the things we suffered because of our decisions, the hurt we may have inadvertently caused others, the opportunities and blessings we forfeited when we made poor choices, we unconsciously create an unhealthy place for our own hearts.
How can our hearts thrive in a situation where we beat ourselves up with the past? How can my heart as a woman thrive if I am in a place of continual regret? How can my heart be a safe place for other people (especially if I plan to be married, or if I already am, or if I have a family) if it is not safe for me first?
Since when did subtle, self-inflicted punishment help move us forward in our purpose and destiny? The last time I checked, self-inflicted silent punishment keeps us stuck and pretending to be okay with where we are when we are really not. We self-sabotage and punish ourselves because of:
- Shame. I love this quote by Shannon Evette – “Shame will cause you to live small, date small and be small.” Enough said.
- False Guilt. There is a difference between a healthy sense of being convicted when you do something wrong versus walking around feeling guilty for something that you know you have already asked forgiveness for and it is over already. Or in some cases feeling guilty about situations and circumstances beyond your control. As long as you feel guilty, subconsciously you are going to do things to punish yourself, such as procrastinating, not fully showing up, hiding, making excuses, falling off the wagon, etc.
- Fear and Unworthiness. Unworthiness says I am unworthy to receive full forgiveness and give myself permission to live again, therefore I will settle. As a result of settling, fear sets in and says because I have wasted so much time in foolishness and drama, I must now hurry up and do something because I may not have a chance at love again. Therefore, I am going to rush and settle into a known situation that is not God’s best for me. I don’t believe I am worthy to receive God’s best, therefore I don’t have the patience to wait, so I will settle for who or what comes up.
- Pride. To receive from God what He has so freely given is an act of humility. There is no working, sweating, proving and performing. It is admitting that you can’t fix yourself. It literally means that we must deeply receive from Him without trying to work up and muster up some type of good behavior to pay for it. We are too prideful and want to work for God’s approval. Remember, you were approved when you accepted Christ not based on anything you have ever done.
Allowing yourself to fully receive from God is the first step to overcoming the dead-end dynamic of shame, guilt, fear and unworthiness. When we don’t fully receive what Christ died to give, we are in essence saying that His sacrifice is not good enough for us. It is like a slap in the face to the Creator. He so freely gave so that we could be full and free, but we still walk around deliberately choosing to stay bound. How sad!
I exhort you today, to no longer block the blessing of receiving forgiveness. Forgive yourself so that you can be free.
Lay aside the pride, the shame, the unworthiness, the settling, the impatience and learn to sit, be settled and receive full forgiveness of EVERYTHING from God and from yourself!!