Forgiving Yourself for Past Mistakes

by Naquan on December 13, 2009

Forgiving yourself at times can be the hardest thing to do.  We walk around feeling horrible, bad and weary for our mistakes.  A few weeks ago I had a hard time forgiving myself.  I made the same mistakes over and over again; praying over and over again about the same thing asking God for his forgiveness.  God encouraged me and said He already forgave me, now it’s time to start forgiving myself.

Forgiving Yourself of the Past

Beating yourself up about what happened days, weeks, months or even years ago?  As much as we would like to, we cannot go in the past and correct those mistakes.  However, we can make a decision to learn from them and start forgiving ourselves.  One of the most important factors to realize is that you’re human; you will make mistakes.  However, this doesn’t mean that you have to live with the guilt’s of your past.

God desires for you to be free from guilt, free from depression, free from the past.  The scripture declares, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

No matter what you’ve done (big or small), know that when Jesus died on the cross for you- your sins, mistakes, weaknesses and addictions went on the cross too.  God already knew before the foundations of the world what your mistakes and downfalls would be, so He took it to the cross with Him 2,000 years ago.

Once we repent, God forgives all our sins.  God doesn’t hold it against us, He doesn’t bring it up when we make mistakes, He doesn’t condemn us, He doesn’t even remember them no more.  God forgives us completely.  Our sins are cast into the sea of forgiveness.

No matter what your story is: rape, murder, theft, lying, cheating, adultery, addictions, etc; when you repented and asked for forgiveness the first time, God forgave you.  He now wants you to start forgiving yourself.

God Forgave You, Now Start Forgiving Yourself

Forgiving yourself starts with first receiving forgiveness from our graceful and merciful God.  Once you learn to receive God’s forgiveness, you’ll not only start forgiving others, but yourself too.

Want to know how to start forgiving yourself?  Here are 3 steps you can take towards self forgiveness:

  1. Confess all your sins to God:  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 john 1:9).  Confess your sins. Confess all the things you’ve done – even the things that preventing you from forgiving yourself now.  Confess sins, mistakes, weaknesses, addictions, lustful desires / thoughts, things of the past, everything.  This allows God to cleanse you and places you back in right standing with Him.
  2. Ask God for forgiveness.  This can be as simple as saying, “Lord, I ask for forgiveness of all things I’ve thought, said or done that were displeasing in your sight.”
  3. Receive God’s forgiveness in your heart.  One of the things I say is, “Lord, I thank you for your forgiveness.  Your grace is sufficient for me; I receive your forgiveness by faith in Jesus name.”

By confessing you’re sins, asking and receiving God’s forgiveness, you have been cleansed of all things of the past – addictions, mistakes, sins, whatever it was, God washed those burdens away.  God has forgiven you, now you must make a decision to start forgiving yourself.

Forgiving Yourself is a Decision

Forgiving yourself is a decision.  God doesn’t bring up the things of the past; He doesn’t condemn you, nor hold forgiven sins and mistakes against you.  If God does all of this, we must make a decision to do the same.  Make a decision to start forgiving yourself; right now.

When the devil comes and condemns, bind his mouth in Jesus name because there’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  You are a new creature in Christ Jesus and because you’ve repented and confessed your mistakes, you’re made righteous before the eyes of the Lord.

Final Words regarding Self Forgiveness

There may be times when you don’t feel like you’re forgiven, causing you stop forgiving yourself, but don’t fall into this trap.  Our feelings are deceptive.  There’s peace and joy that comes with forgiving yourself.  Burdens are lifted up and chains are loose.

Forgiving yourself is a decision and a daily task; even if you were to mess up right now, know that God’s grace is sufficient.  He will wash away all sins, cleansing you and making you a new creature all over again.

Prayer: Forgiving Yourself

Father, I thank you for your forgiveness.  That there’s no sin to great or small that you won’t forgive us for.  Father I ask for the touch my brother/sister.  Touch them Lord and begin to cleanse them from the inside out.  Father I ask that you break away chains of burdens and despair.  Break chains of bondage and pain.  You said that if my brother/sister confesses their sins you’ll forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.

Father I thank you for your cleansing.  I thank you for making them a new creature through Christ Jesus.  I thank you for opening their hearts to receive your forgiveness.  Lord I ask that you now open this person’s heart to forgive themselves – of everything.  Of every mistake, sin, weakness, addiction, everything!

Bless my brother/sister.  Bring peace, joy and comfort into their heart and atmosphere. I thank you Lord for hearing our pray; I thank you Lord that it’s already done.  These things we ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Be blessed and encouraged.

Receive spiritual words of encouragement and daily devotions for Christian everyday living by RSS feed or via email. Thanks for visiting and God bless you :)

No related posts.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennie Her March 24, 2010 at 3:27 am

Thank you for this message. It helps me to let go of my burdens.

[Reply]

Sheila Reply:

Thank you for this, I am a new creature through Christ Jesus.

[Reply]

Reply

Naquan March 24, 2010 at 10:58 am

Hello Jennie,

To God be all the Glory. Don’t let the devil keep you tied to the past and locked to burdens. God is a God that break yokes and sets you free from the burdens and guilt’s of the past. There is freedom in Christ…and I praise God for helping you to let go of your burdens. Be blessed in Jesus name my sister.

[Reply]

jereisha Reply:

Thank u all very much i have anxiety because of the burdens of guilt and shame. I know God forgives me but its hard to forgive myself. I have cheated on my husband and have confessed to God and to him. It is a difficult journey and sometimes i feel like i cant get over it or live with it but i will not let the devil defeat me cause God is above all.

[Reply]

Reply

Tim May 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Thank you for this devotion.

[Reply]

Reply

Naquan May 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Hi Tim,

To God be all the glory. I pray that your spirit is uplifted and encouraged in Jesus name. Don’t allow the devil to steal your joy and peace. May the spirit of God saturate you in Jesus name. God bless you Tim.

[Reply]

Reply

Mariam August 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Thank you for this post. It helped me immensely.

[Reply]

Reply

Naquan August 26, 2010 at 12:30 am

@ Mariam

To God be ALL the glory and honor :)

[Reply]

Reply

Lucy September 9, 2010 at 4:41 am

GLORY BE TO ALMIGHTY GOD

Thank you very much for this devotion, may the honour and glory be to almighty God. I am a happy and free person now. God bless you.

[Reply]

Reply

Naquan September 10, 2010 at 10:56 pm

@Lucy,

Amen! All the glory goes to God! My spirit rejoices in your joy and freedom in Christ Jesus. I pray that God’s covering and protection be upon you and that you will continue to walk in the freedom that Jesus has given you. God bless you.

[Reply]

Reply

Liz January 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Thank you for this wonderful posting. I came across it one evening when I was feeling really guilty for a past sin I comitted. I have been saved for the past 2 years and yet this sin still haunts me. Your posting has encouraged me to forgive myself, thank god for his grace and to be better for him. Please pray for me in this, I still have a lot to work on but I am thankful for the progress I have made so far. Why do you think sin comes back like this in our minds? Is it me and my feelings or satan trying to pull me down?

[Reply]

Reply

Angela April 12, 2011 at 2:41 am

Thank you very much for this message….it came to me when I needed it the most:)

[Reply]

Reply

Naquan June 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Liz,

Please pardon my late response. As long as we have fleshy bodies, temptation to sin will always be there. Remember, the devil tempted Jesus, however Jesus didn’t sin. Jesus used scripture (the Word of God) to overcome the attacks and temptations of satan. We must make a decision to crucify our flesh daily and live for Christ. I encourage you to read Romans 8. It talks about sins and how thru Christ, we are set free!

[Reply]

Reply

aleli June 23, 2011 at 6:52 am

it’s very inspiring and its help me a lot and I thanked GOD for giving me a wonderful husband although i hear all that messages to my husband and yet sometimes i still feel the what happened to my past.. but because GOD gave me a wonderful husband (he is a christian) that’s why he always feed me a word of GOD and we share everyday, when im down he lift me up and vice versa. thank you and GOD BLESS

[Reply]

Reply

chester September 3, 2011 at 3:13 am

u relieve me of my past guilt ty so much

[Reply]

Reply

caroline October 2, 2011 at 12:17 am

wow, thank you so much. you have helped me through a really tough time.. although the pain is still here this made me have hope and realize that i can forgive myself thank you so very much

i love you God with all my heart <3

[Reply]

Reply

BNM November 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Thank You so much for this devotional. I have been going through a very hard time and it is all due to not forgiving myself for years of mistakes I have made. I have asked God for forgiveness but over the years I have never been able to forgive myself and has led to some pretty dreary days. This prayer and reading has giving me the first sliver of comfort in awhile. I truly appreciate this and God Bless.

[Reply]

Reply

Kurt December 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I appreciate the post. You put a smile on my face. It feels good.

[Reply]

Reply

Ramiro January 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I enjoyed reading your post and it gave me hope to forgive myself. Thank you.

[Reply]

Reply

Kaleigh February 23, 2012 at 12:03 am

This was really comforting to read, I’m reminded that I never have to face my burdens alone with the Lord on my side.

[Reply]

Reply

Karen May 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Thank-you for helping me to see the way to forgive myself.

[Reply]

Reply

shema May 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Thanks for the insight, God is so good.

[Reply]

Reply

Joan July 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I have been struggling with depression for years, at times it is very debilitating. I struggle with forgiving myself, especially from years ago when I was on drugs, emotionally sick and neglected my oldest son. He is saved and has voiced his forgiveness, but the past haunts me at times, painful past memories. Please I need to get this resolved once and for all and not relive these memories, some of which are 25 – 30 years old. Help me please.

[Reply]

Reply

Nina October 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm

God bless you!

[Reply]

Reply

Rachel November 1, 2012 at 12:24 am

Joan,
Thank the lord Jesus that you are clean and free of drugs now. Satan had you in his grip and you must let go of his hold. Your son is saved and has forgiven you. although it is hard you must move on. Your sons needs you now to be strong. Spend time sharing new memories and let go of the debilatating ones. God is here for you. Ask for strength to let go of the negative. Enjoy life and live in the present. If you are ill with deoresssion , seek help for yourself and take care of you. God will protect you. God bless you in Jesus’s name.

[Reply]

Reply

Angela November 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

I am having a hard time forgiving myself for what I did. I have had to quit my job which is what I wanted anyway. my husband has been wonderful. but I am struggling worse now that I am home and have more time to think.

[Reply]

Reply

Monica July 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

My heart is full! All I can say is, “THANK YOU!”

[Reply]

Reply

Dave Bootsma February 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Sometimes what feels like guilt over sin is in actuality guilt over failing to achieve a goal you’ve set for yourself. Timothy Keller, in his excellent book Counterfeit Gods, writes:

When people say, ‘I know God forgives me, but I can’t forgive myself,’ they mean that they have failed an idol, whose approval is more important to them than God’s. Idols function like gods in our lives, and so if we make career or parental approval our god and we fail it, then the idol curses us in our hearts for the rest of our lives. We can’t shake the sense of failure.

David Powlison: “So often when people feel remorse for what they’ve done wrong, it is a remorse against their idealized self-image, a remorse in their own eyes, and a remorse against what other people think about them…” None of which is remorse against God.

You are not grieved over grieving God, but failing some standard of your own by which you get your identity or self-worth. Ie. This isn’t the conviction of the Holy Spirit but the cry of pride and ego.

[Reply]

Reply

Mike March 19, 2014 at 6:09 am

I was once entrusted in a position of authority with church fun but i misappropriate some for personal use. I have since return a gadget i but with some of the fund and willing to refund the balance once i get a job ( i have being jobless now for 2 years in a foreign land) believing its a punishment for my sin. How do i get totally forgiven and forgive myself for these ordeal.

[Reply]

Reply

Only human June 24, 2014 at 2:12 am

This helped me to calm my thoughts. It’s about 2am and I’m awake staring at my two beautiful children. Of course my past mistakes hit me like a ton of bricks with every thing I’ve done running through my mind. Then I wish so hard I could go back and make better choices. After all I have been a Christian all my life so how could I of done things I didn’t even believe in or was against? Then I realize I’m stuck unable to go back and redu. I hate the things I’ve done: dated bad men, acted like an idiot, stripped, had an abortion. How could
I do those horrendous things? Now I feel bad I’m dwelling in the past I know God forgave. Or did He? Maybe my sins are unforgivable since they involve an abortion of my beautiful baby and I knew not to do it, I didn’t even want to.
But there’s hope in Gods word.
I wait every day for God to move my mountains while I stay awake and stare at my blessings.

[Reply]

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: