We have done things we have come to regret. We ask God to forgive us, then we move on to fight another day. Forgive and forget, right?
Even if we can embrace the fact that God has forgiven us, sometimes it’s hard for us to forgive ourselves. Liz Curtis Higgs knows what it’s like to struggle to forgive herself. She also knows what we are really saying when we can’t extend to ourselves the same forgiveness God has already given us.
“When we say we can’t forgive ourselves even though God forgives us, that means we value our own opinion over God’s wisdom. Because we’re saying it’s wonderful that the God of the universe has forgiven us – but until I do it doesn’t count.”
There is freedom when we understand that the Bible doesn’t say anything about forgiving ourselves in the first place.
“It’s not in the Bible. It’s on Oprah. It’s in advice columns, it’s in psychologist’s offices, but nowhere in the Bible does it say thou must forgive thyself. What it says is, my grace is sufficient. You can’t add to grace, you can’t subtract from grace, you can’t earn grace, you can’t buy grace, grace is a gift. It’s nothing but a gift.”
All we have to do is receive it.
“Beloved, your job is to hold out your arms ready for the biggest box full of grace you could possibly imagine. He’s there. He’s holding it. He wants to put it in your arms. Don’t drop them because you think you’re unworthy or you’re not ready to forgive yourself, or because you think the guilt is too great. The guilt and the shame work against the grace, so let him sweep them away and there’s nothing left between you and grace.”
Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of more than 30 books, with 4.5 million copies in print. In her best-selling Bad Girls of the Bible series, Liz breathes new life into ancient tales about the most famous—and infamous—women in scriptural history, from Bathsheba to Mary Magdalene.
Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 13:14
Featured Songs: You Make Me Brave – Bethel Music; Alive in You – Jesus Culture; In the River – Jesus CultureEmbrace grace