Welcome! This month’s view takes a look at a deceptive teaching which promotes forgiving ourselves, which has crept into the church from secular counseling. Christians say they believe God has forgiven them, yet they struggle with forgiving themselves. This has become their main focus and creates a problem in Biblical counseling.
Forgiving myself has always been an impossibility for me. Those looking for answers often ask me how I forgive myself after committing such a horrible crime. In my pride, I would like to say, “I have forgiven myself,” but that would be a lie. This is a part of my “good fight of faith.” 1
The truth is that our sin is greater than our ability to forgive. Only faith in God’s grace and forgiveness, provided 2,000 years ago at the cross, is sufficient. Our forgiveness is never enough to provide the peace we seek.
God knew that we would never be able to forgive ourselves in our struggle with guilt and shame. This is the reason He provided forgiveness through “…the Lamb [Jesus Christ] slain from the foundation of the world.” 2 He knew for us to experience forgiveness, that He would have to provide a sacrifice in our place for sin. Because of God’s mercy, Jesus Christ took upon Himself the penalty for our sin, so that we could be forgiven and God’s justice satisfied. “For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” 3