“Forgiven Me” is my theme song. It really is! I’m harder on myself than I could ever be on others and I need a lot of forgiveness – so I’ve got to constantly remember that when I confess, God forgives. If I’ve hurt someone, broken someone’s heart, made a bad decision, failed to keep a promise — I’m always sick about it. I can beat myself up for a long time over a mistake I’ve made, so I have to keep preaching to myself, “Tina, God forgave that one. Let it go.”
Of course, whatever I can “naturally” remedy, I do; apologizing, confessing to the person I’ve wounded, but there’s a part of the forgiveness equation that only God can do. And I’m so thankful that He’s faithful to forgive me, when I come up short. God says we’re to forgive others “seventy times seven” in the same generous, not-keeping-score kind of way. But too many times we say we believe God forgave us, and then we refuse to forgive ourselves! Do you see how wrong that is? Listen, if God can forgive me, then I must forgive myself. I can’t keep dragging up the past. If I truly believe the Word of God, which says, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” then you are cool.
You know what eventually happens when we hold and rehearse past sins and mistakes? We convince ourselves that we deserve to live a miserable life — that no one’s going to love us, that nothing’s going to go our way, and that God will never bless us again. You see what’s wrong with that kind of attitude, don’t you? It completely counts out God’s grace! Sure, it’s good to claim your mistake. Own it. Say, “Yes, I did that. I committed the crime. I told the lie. I hurt innocent people. I hurt myself.” Then, do what Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to do — the one caught in broad daylight and dragged out onto the street to be stoned for her sin. Go and sin no more. And then agree with God and forgive yourself.
You don’t live in a time machine. You can’t go back and undo what is done. You can impact your future, but not your past. So stop blaming yourself. Stop hanging your head in shame. Instead, celebrate what God has done for you, and decide to live each day in a “forgiven” way that will honor Him. Leave your old, forgiven mistakes with Him and move on. He will cause all things to work for your good and His glory and you’ll be able to “I’ve forgiven me.”
From our hearts to yours,
Tina & Erica Campbell
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