We all mess up. We all make mistakes.
It might be something we do, or something we say. It might be an accident, or something unintentional that’s deemed “our fault.” Or maybe it’s a habit or struggle we keep giving into and just can’t seem to rise above.
I can still recall 21 years ago the mess I made at work.
I had entered the wrong product code for a customer’s order. In doing so, I sent an entire semi-truck of bulk rolled oats to that customer instead of bulk quick oats. In the world of oats, there’s a big difference between the rolled kind and the quick kind.
And what a mess it became. All because of my keying error.
I wanted to crawl in a hole. My heart was heavy with the burden of my mistake. I can still almost feel that same sick-to-my-stomach pain. My error caused issues and financial burdens for our company, the trucking company, the truck driver, the customer, the customer’s production line, and much more than I probably will ever know.
I don’t like making mistakes.
I would venture to say none of us find any sort of joy in them.
But truly, when I mess up, I can beat myself up with my words and thoughts until I’m black and blue.
I have a hard time forgiving myself.
Do you struggle with this?
Friend, it’s nearly impossible to love through an unforgiving heart, whether it’s toward others or ourselves. When we choose not to forgive, we choose not to love.
There’s no perfect formula for forgiving yourself, but these four steps help me:
1. Give it to God.
Whatever the mistake or mess up is, give it to God. Ask for His forgiveness, and ask Him to help you forgive yourself. If there’s a wrong that needs to be made right, make sure to follow through with that. God is faithful to forgive.
O Lord, You are good and ready to forgive; Your loyal love flows generously over all who cry out to You. Psalm 86:5
2. Learn from it.
Is there something to learn from this? Could God be teaching you something through it? Look for the teaching, apply it, and turn from it.
3. Forgive Yourself.
Love yourself enough to forgive yourself. Just as you would forgive someone else in your life, grant that same forgiveness to you. If you’ve already given it to God, He’s forgiven you. Do the same.
4. Move On.
Walk in the freedom of forgiveness. Don’t beat yourself up over it one second more. Once you’ve asked God for forgiveness, He doesn’t remember the offense any longer. There’s no need for you to dwell on it either.
This can take some time, but it’s worth it to work through it.
I could have been fired that day at work, but instead, I was forgiven. That action by my boss taught me much about forgiving myself. Little did I know then, I’d be sharing it with you 21 years later!
God can even bring good from our mistakes, especially when we forgive ourselves.
Blessings to you on this Day 23 of 31 Days Of Loving God & Loving Others!
All prior posts in this series can be found here.