Driving along, singing, enjoying a new day and suddenly there are flashing lights in the rear view mirror. You look down at your speedometer and, yes, it registers several miles over the posted speed limit. You pull over, embarrassed, perturbed, perhaps a little frightened, and knowing deep down that you're guilty.
Guilt can weigh us down, like a heavy load on our backs that we can't shake causing us to feel tired, discouraged, perhaps even disconnected. Sometimes the first (and hardest) person we need to forgive is ourselves. Consider these ideas:
1. Is the guilt is real or false? Genuine guilt is the result of a specific wrong done. If the guilt is genuine, the wrong doing can be confessed and forgiven by ourselves, by God and hopefully by the person we wronged.
2. The Apostle John wrote that God will forgive our sins if we confess them to Him. Since God can forgive our sin, then we may accept that we are forgivable. Forgiveness isn't saying that what we did was okay. Forgiveness is letting go of our personal right to punish. Forgiveness is letting go of the wrong we have done as well as the guilt and self-punishment that go with it.
3. God offers us His grace and cleansing. Jesus died to set people free from sin and guilt. The Apostle Paul wrote, "there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." We can forgive ourselves and receive God's grace and know that we are no longer condemned by God for the wrong that we have done. Jesus took our condemnation, our guilt, and our punishment. Because of Him we can be forgiven and forgive ourselves.
May you know the freedom of forgiveness.