“Bless the Lord…who forgives all your [sins].” Ps 103:2-3 NKJV
We tend to forgive others more easily than we forgive ourselves. This is especially so when we fail in a major area like a marriage or career, or our actions have hurt others, or our habits have hurt us, or we know we are not doing what we should. So what should you do? (1) Acknowledge it. Don’t be afraid to confess what you’ve done. You’re not unique. You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last to fail. Once you’ve obtained God’s forgiveness, get the support of a trusted friend. “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jas 5:16 NKJV). (2) Delete it. Often it’s not the offence itself, but the guilt and stress associated with remembering our actions that make us feel bad. Our reaction is the problem! Continually revisiting our failures doesn’t help at all, and it disappoints God. So catch yourself doing it—and hit the delete button! Focus on the fact that God has forgiven you, then put it behind you. “In Him we have…the forgiveness of sins” (Eph 1:7 NKJV). (3) Replace it. Instead of guilt, choose gratitude. That’s not hard to do; just begin to reflect on God’s goodness. That’s what David did: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Ps 103:2-4 NKJV). When you start to look for them, you’ll find lots of things to thank God for.