Ever been so hurt by someone you can't breath? It really sucks. Like... a lot. And sometimes it hurts a long time after. That feeling you get when you think about it... and remember what you did too... and how you ended up hurting yourself and the other person... its hard to forget. Even harder to forgive. But in reality, the only way to heal is to forgive. Them. And then yourself. Why? I'll explain it to you so you understand why I think it is super important. Ok?
I personally believe that hanging onto the bitterness and hurt in the end only hurts you. Holding a grudge places a wall on your heart and makes it hard for you to feel God's love and hear His leading. By holding onto an unforgiving mindset, you are also blocking God's forgiveness for your own sin against Him. While they may have sinned against you, how many times have you sinned against Him?
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15
This verse also can apply to forgiveness of yourself. You are also one off those "men" (or women) who can sin against yourself, others, and God. And sometimes it can be so hard to forget. The truth of it is... you may never forget how you screwed up. Those major mistakes? You may remember them for the rest of your life. The thing is it is your choice on if you want to dwell on them and allow them to turn into bitterness and unforgiveness towards yourself or if you want to ask God to take those hurts and heal them. So while you may remember those mistakes... that does not mean you are stuck in unforgiveness for them. Honestly though. Who are you to say "I screwed up too badly. I cant forgive myself. I don't deserve ________(insert the thing you are wanting to succeed at whether its a relationship or a job or whatever). I've messed up too much to be good enough for _____. I wont ever be able to forgive myself or if I do it will only be if "such and such a thing" happens." Why are you saying that?! Don't you see that God does forgive you but you need to forgive yourself in order to receive the true healing that comes from being fully forgiven and free in Christ? As the verse says, if you wont forgive yourself God will not forgive you. This isnt something little!! This is major! You may work through the grudge and bitterness you hold towards someone else but you may not forgive yourself... that's still holding back God's forgiveness and its not something to take lightly or to not think about. I know I've said this before in a post but I truly believe this is sooo important. Do not let your pride and your high standards get ahead of God's opinion and standards for your life. Whats more important, God's forgiveness or your forgiveness? What are you willing to do to fully embrace God's forgiveness? Think about it! Are you willing to put aside your pride and let God heal you fully? Are you willing to mend broken relationships that you let fall apart when you didn't fully embrace God's forgiveness? Are you willing to risk messing up again and having to go back to God and ask again and again for His forgiveness and His grace in your life? Are you willing to submit yourself to Him? The Bible promises in 1st John 1:9 that, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse/purify us from all unrighteousness." When you think of something pure do you think of mold? Do you think of garbage? Do you think of broken things? Probably not! When Jesus says that He will purify us that means completely pure. So those mistakes you made... they're gone! Why? Because you forgave the other person, you forgave yourself, and you let God forgive and heal you. That is why I believe forgiveness is so very very important. And it is never ever to late to be forgiven. I encourage you as you think about what I wrote down and Jesus' words to search your heart and see if there is any bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness dwelling within you. How is that holding you back? My challenge to you now is to let it go. Forgive. Forgive the person who hurt you. Forgive yourself for messing up. And let God's healing, love and peace fill your heart and life. Don't let that hurt keep you from reaching for Him or for the people and opportunities He places in your life. Do not miss out on the love that you can have.