“I know it sounds strange, but sometimes the key to breakthrough is forgiving yourself,” I say giving my friend a hug. “We can accept God’s forgiveness but sometimes forgiving ourselves can be a whole other matter, because we think we should have known better, and sometimes we have to say it out loud, declaring it, because our words have huge power.”
Within a matter of days I’m sharing the same thought at Bible Study, and a story to go with it. My husband’s dad had injured himself by telling the Japanese tourists he was guiding to tackle him, thinking he was jokingly telling them to tackle the other tour guide. (Don’t mess around in a foreign language!) Tackle him they did, and from then on he was unable to lift his arm above shoulder height.
One day he attended a prayer meeting where the speaker asked for all those who’d come forward for prayer and never been healed, to come forward. Bold and daring step; however this speaker had received a key from God. Forgiveness, whether it was forgiving a friend, a parent or even a horse in one case, people were healed from many things, including Stephen’s dad as he forgave himself for the silly mistake, and he could lift his arm again.
I’ve seen this key work over and over in my time doing prayer ministry with people. Many doctors agree that our hospitals are full because we hold unforgiveness against others, but sometimes we simply keep beating ourselves up over our mistakes because we haven’t chosen to forgive ourselves.
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
I’ve heard people say that forgiving oneself isn’t Biblical, but I asked my father in law, the one and the same, from whom this testimony came, a Greek and Hebrew word studier extraordinaire to go digging for me, and sure enough, he came back with a huge selection of gems for me, but primarily this one:
Romans 15:7New International Version (NIV)
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:7 Extra study thoughts: “One another” is G240 in Strong’s Lexicon and this word means the other person and yourself – one another – each other, mutual, one another, (the other), (them-selves, your-selves together). In the same way Christ accepted us we are told to accept our lives as He sees us and give that gift of forgiveness and acceptance to others.
Do you have a testimony of how forgiveness has changed your life? Do you find it easier to forgive yourself for hurting yourself or others or to forgive others for hurt they’ve done to you?
Sometimes choosing to speak out loud that “I forgive myself for such and such, or forgive (name person) for such and such” breaks the hold of that situation on us. Even if we don’t feel like forgiving them, the act of speaking it out in obedience to God sets us on a path to forgiveness and brings breakthrough.