Forgive Yourself

It’s Narcissist Friday!

I know that some believers think they will stand in open court on the Day of Judgment and someone will list all their sins for all to see and hear. Some even picture this time as a life-long video replay focusing on every sin. Nothing will be hidden, they say.

But that would hardly be Heaven! Nothing will be hidden, but much has been washed away. The truth is that we will stand before the Lord on that day as those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. There will be no sin on our accounts in that day, because Jesus bore it on the cross and washed it from us.

So, why don’t you forgive yourself?

The Bible calls the evil one the “accuser of the brethren.” We tend to think that Satan is constantly telling God about our sins. But God is not interested in a recital of our sins, especially not when He paid the price to wash them away. What is the evil one really doing? He is trying to separate us from God’s love by reminding us of our sins.

It is a good thing for us to be aware of how our flesh leads us away from the best God has for us. It is right for us to remember the things we have done so we can avoid them in the future. But it is quite possible to do that and still forgive yourself.

I have written on this topic a few times because it is so common for abusers to use our past against us. It is typical for a narcissist to get someone to confess a sinful act and then use that to manipulate that person in the future. Not blackmail (although narcissists are certainly capable of blackmail) but subtle and constant reminders so the victim will lose strength and initiative.

But if you stop doing that to yourself, the abuser will have no ammunition to use against your heart. You don’t have to accept the accusations of the evil one or the abusers who work for him.

You see, when you say things about yourself to put yourself in negative categories, you do the devil’s work. When you say that you are stupid for forgetting something or that you “always” do such-and-such bad thing, you show that you have not forgiven yourself. And you open the door for manipulation by others. Don’t do that.

When you sin, the Holy Spirit reveals the transgression to you. You have a choice at that point. You can feel shame and condemnation, neither of which come from the Lord, or you can thank the Spirit for showing you how your flesh moves against the will of God. Then you can work toward change.

Change is important in our lives. We are becoming what God sees in us. The old life and ways are passing away. Change is right and good. But change won’t happen if you put yourself in a box with a big negative label.

Instead, forgive yourself. Accept the forgiveness of God, whose “mercies are new every morning.” You are probably not given the ability to forget what you did, but you can forgive what you did. You can see yourself without that label, without that sin attached. You can let the change be real in your life.

And, again, when the evil one or the narcissist brings up that past action and tries to put you in the box, you are free to reject the accusation. Remind yourself that the Lord who loves you has already forgiven you and you are free to forgive yourself.

Then, move on. Forgiveness is about moving on.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Forgive Yourself

  1. Connie B

    My N H ‘came to the Lord’ at a Promise Keepers conference that someone had invited him to. He keeps telling me that at the conference, God spoke to him, “I’ve forgiven you, now you need to forgive yourself’. I sort of get that, yet he uses it to guilt me into overlooking everything he’s done and does.

    • Nice how these folks twist things, isn’t it? But there is a difference between forgiving someone and overlooking what they did and do. You are not called to forget. And, when there is little evidence that he wants to change, then it is reasonable to ask if he has accepted God’s forgiveness. Narcissists don’t worry about forgiving themselves because they don’t do anything wrong.

      • Connie B

        I’ve sometimes wondered if it was not God talking to him, but a speaker saying this, and h registering it in his mind as a good come-back when someone tries to hold him accountable for his behaviour.

  2. Sue

    Or has not done… like hire a real contractor to install the windows/siding, instead of some bozo who works for cheap (and cheats on taxes? bad sign). Yeah, hiring reputable repair people costs money…but such is life in the world of grown-ups – and narcs want no parts of responsible adult life.

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