How to Forgive Yourself and Others
Let us start first with forgiving ourselves. When we sin we need to go to the lord in prayer and sincerely ask for forgiveness from the heart. This should be done as soon as you realize you have sinned. At least once a day, we need to ask the lord to forgive our sins; the ones we know of and the ones we don’t know of. Personally, I ask the lord to forgive my sins first thing in the morning and again at night before I fall asleep. This way I make sure that my sins are covered for the whole day. Once we have asked the lord to forgive our sins, we can move on and forgive ourselves. Do not keep rehearsing in your thoughts the events of your transgressions. In Philippians 4:8 it tells us to dwell on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. If our thoughts keep dwelling on our past sins it will lead to strong feelings of guilt and resentment. All that energy we use dwelling on regrets, robs us of the energy we need to become the person God wants us to be. In Psalm 103:12 it says:
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
If God can move on, shouldn’t we do the same?
When it comes to forgiving others, it is something we need to do quickly. In Matthew 6:14-15 it says:
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Forgiving others doesn’t let that person get away with or justify what they have done to us. The person that has wronged us still needs to make amends and atone for what they have done. Forgiving someone is something we do for ourselves so we do not become bitter and angry. The old adage “forgive and forget” is not always true. Yes, we are to forgive but not always forget. We can still lose trust in the person who has wronged us, and it is up to that person to regain that trust. Even so, forgive always and at all times.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." – Matthew 18:21-35
So you can see from this parable that our own fate is tied to the measure of forgiveness we exact upon others. The Lord Jesus Christ judges each one of us by what is truly in our hearts and also the intent of our actions in all situations. Whatever method we use to forgive others and ourselves, the Lord Jesus Christ uses that same measure when he judges all our iniquities. The closer you are to doing things according to the Lord’s instructions the more your soul is in tune with the Holy Trinity. The more your soul is in harmony with God the more you will grow into a deeper loving relationship with Him. This leads to a loving fellowship with the complete Holy Trinity in this realm and eventually in God’s heavenly kingdom. Now is the time to prepare your soul for your ultimate destiny with God. Follow these scripture passages given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Matthew 7:1-2
This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ – Matthew 6:9-13
When we forgive both ourselves and others we invite the peace of our lord Jesus Christ into our heart. Far greater than anything we could ever hope for, is knowing that our savior has forgiven us. And what a joy and peace that brings!