Have you forgiven yourself?
By: Live the Promise
Jesus cares about our healing. He didn’t just save one piece of us, but He redeems whole people. When He’s forgiven us, we’re able to forgive ourselves.
Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery have a passion for seeing women living with joy and freedom in Christ. Their ministry, Authentic Intimacy, is geared toward women who want to walk in sexual wholeness.
Lorraine was one of the women who today walks in sexual wholeness. Lorraine had an abortion when she was younger and struggled for years afterward with grief. She knew God had forgiven her but could not forgive herself for the choice she had made.
She describes her journey in Linda and Juli’s book, Surprised by the Healer: Embracing Hope for Your Broken Story.
“When women like me admit the true nature of what we have done, the horror of it and what it cost our Savior, we grieve with a sorrow beyond words. We beat ourselves up. How could I have been so selfish and disobedient as to make Christ die for what I did? We refuse to forgive ourselves because we don’t want to take lightly the reality of our sin. For a time, we feel the need to do something to prove to God how sorry we are. So we subconsciously punish ourselves in some way. In my case I did not give myself permission to enjoy sex, because sex was where my sin began.
But a time comes to let yourself off the hook. A time comes to put away the black clothes of sorrow and put on a colorful robe. The time comes to dance again. To feel again. To embrace life fully and completely.”
Yes, our sin separated us from God. Yes, our sin was heavy on Christ’s shoulders. But His death and resurrection mean our sin doesn’t have to weigh heavy on us for the rest of our life. We can forgive ourselves because He did.
Juli shares her thoughts on Lorraine’s story. What does it mean to really accept our new life and freedom in regard to our sexual past?
“If I just forgive myself outside of the blood of Jesus Christ, that really holds no water. But it’s the combination of knowing that I’ve confessed my sins before the Lord and then giving myself the freedom to actually revel in that… What Jesus said is true, and therefore I will not hold myself accountable anymore for the things that have happened in the past. It’s a very powerful thing.”
Key Scriptures: Isaiah 61:1-3