“In Him we have…the forgiveness of sins.” Eph 1:7 NKJV
When God forgives you but you refuse to forgive yourself, you’re spurning His grace and choosing to be miserable. When you do that: (1) Your loved ones are at risk. It’s not just about you. When you wallow in guilt you tend to be more withdrawn and critical, and less open and affectionate. So your spouse, children, parents, coworkers, friends, and even your pets suffer along with you. (2) Your health is at risk. Your mind affects your body. Doctors say bitterness generates chemicals that affect your vital organs. They increase your heart rate, raise your blood pressure, disrupt your digestion, tense your muscles, dump cholesterol into your bloodstream, and reduce your ability to think clearly. Each time you rehearse the past those bad feelings deliver more corrosive chemicals. Science is now confirming what God has said; namely, that those who don’t forgive themselves, and others, are more prone to heart attacks, depression, hypertension and other serious illnesses. (3) Your future is at risk. The Bible says, “You will again have compassion on us… you will…hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Mic 7:19 NIV). Stop dredging up what God has buried. Start looking ahead; otherwise you’ll get mired in a bog of your own making. The Bible says, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (Eph 1:7-8 NLT). With God’s forgiveness comes the wisdom and understanding to not only survive your past, but grow stronger as a result of it.