“Jesus gave His very life to provide forgiveness for our sins, which isn’t just part of the Christian faith — forgiveness is the very cornerstone of the Christian faith. Forgiveness for our sins isn’t just hope we have; it is the greatest reality for all who choose to receive salvation through accepting Jesus as the Lord of their lives.”- Lysa TerKeurst
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.”- Psalm 32:25 (NIV)
After the final chapter of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, Lysa TerKeurst answers some of her most-asked questions on forgiveness. In today’s blog, Lysa answers this question: Sometimes the hardest part of forgiveness is forgiving myself. How do I do this?
Certainly, it’s often quite hard to overcome feelings of shame and regret. Whether those feelings result from choices we’ve made or actions we wish we could go back and change. Yet, we can’t bestow forgiveness on ourselves. Because forgiveness originates with God. So when we struggle to forgive ourselves, our real struggle centers on fully receiving and living in the forgiveness of God.
Above all, Satan rejoices when we carry that paralyzing shame. As a result, when we carry that shame we recoil at the thought of personal testimony regarding Jesus’ work accomplished on the cross.
In conclusion, Lysa describes three things that helped her fully receive the forgiveness of God:
- Lysa realized she needed a marked moment during which she confessed, repented, and asked God for forgiveness. In addition, Lysa verbalized out loud that she’d received God’s forgiveness. This resulted in a definite memory of acknowledging God’s gift of mercy.
- Remember that shame and accusation come from Satan. But when you let God use your pain for good, you begin to see glimpses of redemption. While this doesn’t take away your grief, it does start to heal your shame.
- Let your expedience make your heart tender. Of course, you must not excuse behavior you shouldn’t in the name of compassion. At the same time, however, maintaining a compassionate attitude helps you avoid shaming others.
Today’s question: How do you see forgiveness as the very cornerstone of the Christian faith? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget