What If I Don’t Forgive Myself?

How does God feel when He forgives me, but I don’t forgive myself? When I continue to feel guilty? When I think I don’t deserve anything good, or that I deserve never-ending ill treatment as a consequence of my actions?

Matthew 6:15 states that if I don’t forgive others who have wronged me, God won’t forgive me.

But will God forgive me if I don’t forgive myself?

As far as I know, there isn’t a specific verse about that in the Bible.

The only answer I have, is God’s promise that when I’m sorry and I ask God to forgive me, He makes the conscious decision to forgive. To let go. FOR HIS SAKE. And He chooses not to recall anything about that incident.

Why Don’t I Forgive Myself?

What makes me unwilling or unable to forgive myself?

The answers aren’t pretty…

— I’m trying the pay the price already paid by the only One who could pay.

— I act as if what Jesus did isn’t enough.

— I’m not trusting God when He said what Jesus did is enough.

— I act as if I don’t believe God loves me enough to forgive me for every mistake or willful misdeed.

— I’m not trusting that God will forgive me if I am sorry and I ask Him.

What Happens If I Don’t Forgive Myself?

If I hold onto pain and self-loathing and negativity, I waste more of the life God gave me. And for as long as I do that, I don’t accomplish the tasks God created me to do.

When I don’t forgive myself and refuse to forget the action or decision, I act like I know better than God. Like I should be the ruler of the universe instead of Him.

What About Others?

How do I feel when someone I love can’t or won’t forgive themselves?

It’s excruciatingly sad, and I’m heartbroken that I can’t make them forgive themselves.

How Does God Feel?

So, how does God feel when He forgives me, and I don’t forgive myself?

I don’t know. Perhaps He is heartbroken. And even though He has the power to make me forgive myself, He won’t override the free will He’s given me.

What Should I Do?

When God forgives me and I don’t forgive myself, I need to:

— Analyze why.

— Ask God to change me.

— Ask God what my part is, and pray for the power to do my part.

— With God’s help, make the conscious decision to forgive AND forget.

— Ask God to help me live with the realistic repercussions and let go of the unjustified consequences.

What Does God Do?

God forgives me.

He does NOT condemn me.

He doesn’t want me to condemn myself — or allow others to condemn me.

God wants me to let go. For my sake. So I’m free to serve Him the way He wants me to serve Him.

What helps you forgive yourself?

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.


May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

4 thoughts on “What If I Don’t Forgive Myself?

  1. I struggle with this. Glad I’m not alone in it. You gave some good insights to help us learn to forgive ourselves. I’ll have to think more on what you’ve said and try to put them into practice. I appreciate your blogs so much each week.

    • Thank you for reading and sharing, Jane. Grateful God helps us – no matter what we need to work to improve.

  2. I love this! Thank you! We can be hard on ourselves, can’t we?
    I have had friends that could not forgive themselves, but I would encourage them and I pray for them.
    Thank you for sharing!!

    • Thank you for reading and sharing, Christine. I’m so grateful my post was helpful. I appreciate your support. 🙂

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