sad woman against wall
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


First Corinthians 13, the great love chapter of the Bible, is a perfect demonstration of the cause and effect of total forgiveness. The apex of this wonderful passage is the phrase found in verse 5: Love "keeps no record of wrongs" (NIV).

The Greek word that is translated as no record is logizomai, which means "not to reckon or impute." The word is important to Paul's doctrine of justification by faith.

For the person who believes, his faith is "credited" to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:5). This is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 13:5.

Therefore, not to reckon, impute or "count" the wrongs of a loved one is to do for that person what God does for us, namely, choose not to recognize his sin.

In the same way, forgiving oneself means to experience the love that keeps no record of our own wrongs. It is one thing to have this breakthrough regarding others; it is quite another to experience the greater breakthrough—total forgiveness of ourselves.

So many Christians say, "I can forgive others, but how can I ever forget what I have done? I know God forgives me, but I can't forgive myself."

We must remember that forgiving ourselves is a lifelong commitment. In precisely the same way that I must forgive others every single day, I must also forgive myself (Luke 6:37).

The Process of Forgiving
We must renew our commitment to forgive others each and every day for the wrongs done to us. Forgiving ourselves is also a daily process.

We may wake up each day with the awareness of past failures. We may have feelings of guilt—or pseudo-guilt, if our sins have been placed under the blood of Christ.

But forgiving yourself may bring about the breakthrough you have been looking for. It could set you free in ways you have never before experienced.

Sometimes we are afraid to forgive ourselves. We cling to fear as if it were a thing of value. The truth is, the very breath of Satan is behind the fear of forgiving ourselves.

Jesus knows that many of us have this problem. This is a further reason Jesus turned up unexpectedly after His Resurrection in the room where the disciples were assembled both in terror and in guilt.

Jesus wanted them to know they were totally forgiven; He also wanted them to forgive themselves. He spoke to them as if nothing had happened (John 20:21). This gave them dignity and showed them that nothing had occurred that would change Jesus' plans and strategy for them.

I remember one Sunday just before I was to preach at the 11 a.m. service. I had an argument with my wife, Louise, and stormed out of the house, slamming the door in her face.

Before I knew it, I was bowing my head on the upper platform at Westminster Chapel before several hundred people. I was thinking, I should not be here. I have no right to be here. Lord, how on earth could You use me today? I am not fit to be in this pulpit.

There was no way to resolve the situation at that time. I could only ask God for mercy and try my best to forgive myself. Never in my life had I felt so unworthy.

But when I stood up to preach, God simply undergirded me and enabled me to preach as well as I ever had. When we are emptied of all self-righteousness and pride, we enable God to move in and through us.

Why We Can't Forgive Ourselves

At the end of the day, I believe there are several causes for our inability to forgive ourselves.

Anger. We may be angry with ourselves. Look at the Old Testament story of Joseph. As a type of Christ, Joseph said to his brothers, "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you" (Gen. 45:5).

These brothers were beginning to get the message that Joseph had forgiven them; he didn't want them to be angry with themselves. That is the way God forgives. Jesus does not want us to be angry with ourselves for our sins.

Not forgiving ourselves is self-hatred. Joseph's brothers had hated themselves for selling Joseph into slavery. They could not take back what they had done.

Some Christians who can't forgive themselves are, underneath it all, angry with themselves. But God can begin today to cause all that happened to fit into a pattern for good.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • A bit of flirting may seem innocent, but it can lead to destructive behavior.

    3 Do's and Don'ts When Communicating With Women Other Than Your Wife

    Do you and your wife have any other rules for communicating with the opposite sex?

  • Cindy Jacobs is encouraging intercessors across the country to pray to keep the nation stabilized through December 19th.

    Cindy Jacobs Issues Critical Post-Election Prayer Alert

    Will you keep watching and praying?

  • Fidel Castro

    Castro Couldn't Kill Christianity in Cuba

    The sober truth is the world is a safer place now that Cuba's dictator is dead.

  • Don't let pornography impede God's plan for your life.

    How Watching Pornography Ruins the Destiny God Has for You

    If the devil can seduce you, he can reduce you.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit