4 Ways to Practice Forgiving Yourself

Amber Rae

Amber Rae

Recently, I began following Amber Rae on Instagram @heyamberrae. Again and again, I’m inspired by her gift for sharing wisdom and life helps in simple and effective ways.

Her Amazon bio says it well, “Her writing blends raw, personal storytelling with psychology and neuroscience, and has reached over 5 million people in 195 countries.”

This week she shared 4 ways to practice forgiving yourself. I immediately asked for permission to reprint it here and she kindly agreed.

I know of so many who struggle with this side of forgiveness, including me. We can forgive others, but we continue to withhold that same grace for ourselves.

When we withhold forgiving ourselves, its actually a form of pride. We’re saying our sin, our mistakes, are greater than what Jesus can offer us. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I pray these reminders from Amber Rae will help you claim forgiveness and freedom in Christ. – Lisa <><

4 Ways to Practice Forgiving Yourself 
1. Use guilt as a compass.
Guilt shows us that our actions conflict with our values. It helps us course-correct.

2. Watch out for shame.
Guilt = I made a mistake.
Shame = I’m a mistake.
Forgiveness = I’m learning.
Wisdom = What did I learn from this?

3. Imagine what forgiveness feels like and try this:
write yourself an apology letter. You let yourself down, too.

4. Let go of what you cannot control.
Do your part, own your mistake and let go. We can’t control how others receive our apology or how they forgive.

For more from Amber Rae, check out her website and her latest book, Choose Wonder Over Worry. 

BONUS: Forgive by Steve Garnaas Holmes

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
if you retain the sins of any, they are retained. — John 20:23

When you forgive you unbind someone,
like Lazarus emerging from the tomb of your judgment.
Forgiveness is healing.

Love is concern for the other,
not resentment and concern for self, and “what I am owed.”
When you forgive you are free to love.
Forgiveness is freedom.

If you retain the sins of any and cling to a judgment,
you stay in the past, still suffering the offense.
The condemnation you intend for another you bear yourself.
You are bound by the need you imagine
for something in the past to be corrected.
When you forgive you come into the present,
which is the only place life is.
You come out of the dead past into the living present
like Christ emerging from the tomb, walking in newness of life.
Forgiveness is resurrection.

God is in the present moment, not the past;
God is love, not resentment.
Even when being wronged,
like Christ on the cross, forgiving,
God’s judgment is always mercy.
Forgiveness is union with God.

Forgiven and Whole (Matthew 9.1-8)

forgiveness (1)Based on Matthew 9:1-8 and Hebrews 12:1

Jesus, my sin clings so closely
It’s hard to breathe
It’s hard to move on
The weight bears heavy
I cannot support myself
I’m trapped in the past, paralyzed by guilt and consequence

“Take heart your sins are forgiven.”

I rise and follow you home

Jesus, my sin clings so closely
I’ve confessed it before
Turned and walked a new path, but it reaches out to grab me again
It tells me the new isn’t true.

“Take heart, your sins are forgiven.”

I remember

Your power never falters, is never undone
Your power is complete

I re-member

I am whole in your love and grace

The Glory of Your Saving Love  © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Quotes: Regret

boy statue regret2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret,
but worldly grief produces death.

Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves-
regret for the past and fear of the future.
– Fulton Oursler, American journalist, playwright, editor and writer (converted to Christianity after writing The Greatest Story Ever Told)

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
– Alexander Graham Bell

Selection from the song Why by Annie Lenox
This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I’ll never tread
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
This is the joy that’s seldom spread
These are the tears…
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel
Do you know how I feel?

Most of us carry regrets. There are many different kinds.

  • Regrets of wasted opportunities and lost time.
  • Regrets of things done and left undone.
  • Regrets of decisions taken and those not taken.
  • Regrets of words spoke and unspoken.

Regrets like these rob us of our peace and serenity. Often they leave us with deep feelings of guilt or remorse or even despair. We wish we could turn the clock back. But we cannot. Perhaps you will know, as I do, some of these painful effects that come from living with regrets about our past. So what can we do? We can pray the Serenity Prayer. We can ask God to help us to accept the irreparable past. But we need to back up this prayer with a few things that we can do. Finding peace does not mean doing nothing. It may grow out of prayer, but it does not stop there. It brings new intentions, new obligations, new efforts. – Trevor Hudson, The Serenity Prayer

God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
– Reinhold Niebuhr

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