My story concerns forgiving myself. I would be embarrassed to say exactly what I did and so I will skip that. I even changed my name to protect the not-so-innocent. When I forgave myself the first thing I did was ask forgiveness from God. As a Christian, I know that my sins can be forgiven. The remaining problem for me is that even though I knew that God had forgiven me, I just could not let go of the guilt. It was eating me alive and it did not help when well meaning people asked me, “Are you more powerful than God? If not, then just let go and accept the forgiveness.” I tried that and I was still miserable.
Then I tried to forgive myself, not as a substitute for God’s forgiveness, but something that comes alongside that and works with it. I decided to offer a quietness toward myself, an understanding that I can fall as everyone does. Maybe this will sound a little funny, but I began to realize that I can have compassion on myself. To me this means that I will put down the whip and stop beating myself up over what I did. Actually, without that compassion I was pretty much punishing myself for something that happened in the past and I cannot go back there and make it right. The compassion toward myself combined with the assurance of God’s forgiveness of me set me free. And I am never going back into that place of guilt again. I have been set free of that and I am thankful that both types of forgiveness, God’s and mine, are possible in this tough world.