Church family,

Have you ever been told when struggling with guilt, “You need to forgive yourself”?

A few years ago, I attended a conference that featured various well-known Christian speakers. One of the speakers spoke of the provision of forgiveness that has been provided for in Christ. He explained that because all of us have sinned, all our sin is against God. Therefore, real forgiveness can only come from Him.

I was raised in a Christian home where forgiveness was encouraged and practiced. When Carmela and I raised our children, we did not emphasize saying “I’m sorry.” Most of the time, we use that phrase as a token statement to get relief from an uncomfortable scenario. You know, “It’s the right thing to say.” What I was taught and what we taught our children was to ask forgiveness. We didn’t ask them to forgive themselves for hurting someone else. No, we encouraged them to ask forgiveness from the one they hurt.

Likewise, you will never find a biblical directive to forgive yourself. It is something we are to ask for from the one that we hurt. Forgiveness can only be granted by the one hurt, offended, or sinned against. 

Perhaps we carry around guilt from things we have done over the years. Let me encourage you to consider who you sinned against. Of course, all sin is against God, but many times it is against others. Freedom from our guilt can only be experienced as we seek forgiveness and walk in the truth of the message of the gospel!

Here is a well-written article on the subject that will give more perspective.

Be free from guilt and shame. Ask forgiveness from those you have hurt. Then confess that sin to the Lord and walk in the forgiveness He died for!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian