Bit of a kerfluffle over the idea of needing to forgive yourself. That’s not in scripture! Only God forgives! Rawwrrr……..chest thumping, stomping, etc.
All true in a literal sense, but let me clarify what it means to “forgive yourself.” It means to come into agreement with God, it means to accept His forgiveness and His grace. To receive it. It means to stop defying what He has said, as if your own opinion takes precedent over His. If He says you are forgiven, and He does, than failing to forgive yourself is refusing to receive what He has given you, what He died for.
To harbor unforgiveness towards yourself is actually a form of defiance and rebellion, because you are saying my own petty, foolish, little sin is bigger and badder than God Himself. It’s also a form of false humility, false piety, false virtue.
Extra credit points for trying to claim such things are justified because “self forgiveness” isn’t literally in the bible. Like no one’s ever tried that line before….
We do not forgive ourselves, as in, only Jesus Christ is the source of grace, but we do have freewill. We do have the ability to reject Him, to not receive His forgiveness, to refuse to let Him wash us, “….If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” -John 13:18
That is called refusing to forgive yourself, because God already has. You are the one holding out, not Him.
Something I keep bumping into, it seems as if some people don’t realize there are two kinds of truth, there is cut and dry theological truth, and then there is emotional truth, practical truth, applied truth. The two complement one another, they do not contradict each other.
Many people are very linear thinkers and legalists, they need truth compartmentalized and tidy, a list of clear rules. Myself, I believe in the Holy Spirit, I believe we were given Him to help us navigate those choppy waters of moral ambiguity. That freaks some people out. There should be no choppy waters of moral ambiguity! I totally agree, but there are. Life is complicated sometimes, the world is full of deception, and people can be complex. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us and to lead us.
Doctrine is important to me, theology is important to me, perhaps even more so because I often operate in the emotional realm, and in the realm of the Holy Spirit. Doctrine keeps me rooted.
It should come as no surprise to anyone, that God seldom reveals the whole picture, the complete unvarnished theological truth all at once. If He did, my brain would just blow up. Instead He shows me just the part I need to see, as it applies to my situation. The Truth may in fact be much bigger, but the corner He is asking me to look at is much smaller and more focused. That does not mean the Truth is not the truth, it means we are focusing in on the part of the truth that we ourselves need to take a look at.
Anybody ever been standing in the midst of appalling dysfunction, rampant sin, horrendous chaos, and God has said, yeah, none of that stuff is any of your business, I want to talk to you about that shopping cart you tucked between two cars when you thought no one was watching….That’s called targeted truth. It’s hard on the pride.
So if God tells you, you need to forgive yourself, you need to forgive yourself. The idea that self-forgiveness disrespects the concept of God alone forgives, is true! It sure does. We don’t fix that by declaring the phrase itself to be unbiblical and throwing it out, we fix it by coming into alignment with God’s will, obeying Him, and forgiving ourselves.