Ministry Resources

Day 22: I Just Can’t Forgive Myself

Author: Pastor Larry & Pat Downing


1. Realize that we only receive forgiveness because of the blood of Jesus. It’s not because our mistakes “never happened,” or “it wasn’t that bad”. Give up rationalizations and excuses, and simply receive God’s mercy and grace.

2. It WAS THAT bad, but God is even MORE good! James 2:13 says, “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” His mercy toward you TRIUMPHS over your self-judgment. In Luke 22:34, Peter denied the Lord three times, and Jesus forgave him. Later, Peter preached the first sermon after Jesus rose from the dead, and 3000 people were saved in a day! Peter was able to forgive himself when he knew Jesus had accepted him. In the same way, you too, have been accepted by God, no matter what you have done—simply by believing in His finished work on the cross.

3. Give up your right to hold ANYTHING against yourself. God doesn’t hold anything against you. Forgiving yourself is simply AGREEING with God. His standard is absolute perfection, and He forgives you. Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as east is from west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

4. Stop rehearsing what you did. It’s done. It’s over. Now accept the second chance (or third or fourth…) that God offers. Philippians 3:13 says, “Forgetting what lies behind, and reaching forward… ” Reaching forward starts in your thought life.

5. Believe that guilt doesn’t come from God. He doesn’t impose guilt on you to try to get you to stop doing something. Romans 2:4 says, “It is His goodness that draws us to repentance.” Since this guilt and shame doesn’t come from God, there can be only one other source—the devil. James 4:7 says, “Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

6. Give up the SELF-PUNISHMENT. Some people think subconsciously: “I’ll make myself feel bad to pay for what I’ve done.” Why should we pay the price that has ALREADY been paid for what we’ve done wrong? Stop beating yourself up. By trying to “pay for what we have done”, we are doubting and insulting the very blood of Jesus that HAS PAID the price in full. Accept His free gift.


I receive mercy today, because of the blood of Jesus. Though I didn’t deserve it, God proclaims over me that I am “not guilty”. Where I have failed, God’s mercy triumphs over judgment.

I give up my mindset today to hold ANYTHING against myself. I deserve to be punished, but Jesus took THAT punishment for me. I forget what lies behind and press on, moving forward in my life with God, even though I feel like I have blown it beyond repair.

I reject this guilt and self-condemnation that the devil is trying to put on me. God is the God of second chances. I will no longer try to make myself feel bad to pay for what I’ve done. The price for what I did or failed at has been paid in full by Jesus’ blood!

Pastor Larry & Pat Downing
Foothills Community Church
Collections of thoughts from varied sources
Scripture verses from KJV or NIV unless specified

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