Wednesday 23rd April 2014,
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.Christ in me, the hope of Glory.

Kris Luhrs November 28, 2011 Blog, hope, Uncategorized 20 Comments

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Two and a half years ago I wrote a piece on healing and forgiveness during my solitude. I feel compelled to extend my thoughts on that now. At that time, I focused more on forgiveness of others and healing for self-beneficial reasons. Don’t get me wrong, that piece still speaks to my life but there is so much more to it. I should preface this blog by saying that, in “Healing,” I referenced to others hurting you and needing to forgive them in order to receive healing. This can be extraordinarily difficult, however, I often feel that it’s more difficult to forgive ourselves.

 

I want you to think of the worst thing you have ever done. Got it? Now, if you’re looking at this thing honestly, can you say you are healed from it? You may have moved forward, by the grace of God, or it may still haunt you. Perhaps you feel as though you’ve received healing from it, but it’s simply absent from your mind because it’s so suppressed. Or even worse, you don’t feel that you deserve healing and continually live under the shame of it.

 

Forgiveness seems like a very straight-forward and uncomplicated subject in the Word. Christ has redeemed us back to God, we are forgiven by Him, and we are to forgive others as well in order to receive our own forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 11:25, Luke 17:3-4, 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:13-14, etc.) Healing is pretty basic as well: Christ’s sacrifice provides this and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5.) I don’t think any Christian would argue they need to forgive others, have grace, love thy neighbor, all of that. But what about forgiving ourselves? I personally haven’t found anything in the Bible that speaks directly about forgiveness of self. How important is it? A perk, or a necessity? How drastically does it stunt your spiritual growth, if at all? There is a point in everyone’s lives where they can unfortunately relate to Paul in Romans 7:15-24–

 

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

 

Paul closes out Romans 7 with these thoughts. The beautiful thing about this is he rushes to open Romans 8 with this statement: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” He grieves and mourns over this battle with sin for chapters, and then he sums up the solution in one eloquently written line. No condemnation? That’s great news. However, this doesn’t solve the issue on forgiveness of self. The best way to understand the importance of this is to face the facts of what life would be like without (self) forgiveness.

 

If we did not forgive ourselves, despite God pardoning us, we would still be living in condemnation. Perhaps not God’s condemnation, but our own. I cannot imagine how God could truly utilize us as His vessels if we were in a constant state of reproach. Pastor, evangelist, and professor Dr. Mike Brown speaks about living in and through God’s self-portrait of us. This is applicable here because it’s impossible to carry out God’s assignments for us into completion if the view of ourselves is not aligned with His. Let’s use Gideon for an example — when the Midianites were oppressing Israel, the angel of the Lord came to him and said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” Anyone who knows this story knows, at that moment in time, those were the last words you would be using to describe Gideon. However, God knew His plans for Gideon and He chose to view Him in the image of who Gideon would grow to be, not who he was now. However, for God to work through him and make him this mighty man of valor, Gideon would have to start viewing himself that way and putting the past behind him. We must do the same. We cannot be living in this idea of who we were, the mistakes we’ve made, or the sin that at one time entangled us. A time of repentance is vital, but beyond that, carrying that shame is impairing, furthermore, detrimental for us to hinder our future with torment over our past sin.

 

This pours over onto the question of spiritual growth. If we are unable to truly move forward on God’s path, then our spiritual growth is inevitably stunted and certainly restrained. If we find ourselves unable to fully approach the throne of grace due to sins that have since been repented of, there is a tremendous issue at hand. God is our Source, to life, to everything. If we are cut off from the Source, how can we live? It is impossible to truly fulfill the work of Heaven on earth if we are mentally, emotionally, or spiritually stuck in a particular moment of time in our lives. We have to move forward, seek first His kingdom and His face, live in the image of a new creation in Christ, and all of these things, including spiritual growth, shall be added unto us.

 

The reason it’s so deeply on my heart to express this is because if we don’t do this, Christ’s work on the cross was in vain. If we permanently impair ourselves due to fleeting or momentary sin, our work will be incomplete and Christ’s sacrifice is only beneficial after this lifetime. But His sacrifice wasn’t just meant for the eternal, it was meant for now. Our work now is eternal. We all somewhat understand, if only in brief epiphanies throughout our life, how truly immeasurable and great God’s love for us is. We are aware that our grace and love towards others is a reflection of God’s love. But people seem to forget that we are to love ourselves that much as well. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself, hence “love thy neighbor as thyself.” This is a call to love others as much as you love yourself. So, let us forgive ourselves and keep our eyes focused on God’s image of us and what lies ahead. 

 

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“But one thing I do: 

 Forgetting what lies behind and straining towards what lies ahead.” 

Philippians 3:13

 

 

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Romans 8:18

 

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About The Author

Editor-at-large for Heart Support, writer, literary enthusiast, and loving wife. Passionate about encouraging and investing in today's youth, with a heart for mentoring and inspiring young women. Email: kris@heartsupport.com

  • Dalton T

    Kris,
    there were things i thought i had forgiven myself for, but this revealed the truth that i havent. im definitely printing this. im honestly borderline tears as i write this. thank you, i now have the tools to truly grow spiritually now.
    GOD BLESS,
    Dalton

    • krisluhrs

      Thank you so much, Dalton! I’m very happy to hear this. I’m honored that God is using me as His vessel and that His words through me are positively affecting your life.

      Best,
      Kris

      • Dalton T

        You are welcome and thank YOU! My blog post is coming along just swell!

  • Appletastesnice

    Thank you Kris, so very meaningful, and you are really helping me be a better person.

    • krisluhrs

      That’s great! Thank you so much. x

  • http://twitter.com/carlosxarevalo Carlos Arévalo

    God bless you Kris, seriously wow.

    • krisluhrs

      Thank you, Carlos! Blessings.

  • Bilbuilt333

    After going to confession and recieving absolution from the priest you need never look back at your confessed sins again. Forgive yourself because God has already forgiven you.

  • Hunter

    Thank you Kris! I look forward to all your blogs, they are so real a relevant, and they help so much! God bless.

    • krisluhrs

      Thank you, Hunter!

  • http://twitter.com/amz_bro ann-marie borell

    I don’t know what to say other than wow, and thank you! 

  • Dj

    Wow, this was really really good for me. This whole website is such a blessing! You’re getting bookmarked! 

  • Rey_rivera7

    I’m really glad I took the time to read that. It’s helped me to look deeper into myself and set up my priorities to be more effective. Jake’s a really blessed man to have you for a wife! God Bless.

    • krisluhrs

      Thank you so much. That’s very sweet of you, and I’m glad the blog was beneficial!

  • maite F

    this is so true, and still it is the hardest thing to do in life, in my life, how can you forgive yourself if you don’t love yourself? If you ‘re feeling not worth? It is very hard to me

    • krisluhrs

      You can’t. That sounds more like an identity issue to me. You would have to work through that issue first, and begin to understand who you truly are before you can forgive yourself. If you’d like to discuss the more, feel free to email me: kris@heartsupport.com

      Best,
      Kris

  • http://twitter.com/hayden_stringer Hayden Stringer

    This is beautifully written. I love this website and ministry. There is so much truth in these words. Is it okay if I use some of this as a quote?

    • krisluhrs

      Thank you! We have no problem having the work on our site used as long as it is properly quoted/cited.

  • http://twitter.com/RebeccaKellam RebeccaJKellam

    Your insight is wonderful Kris. As of late, I have been consistently
    reminded of how I am seen in the eyes of the Lord. From considering who is
    listed in Jesus’ genealogy (ex-David who was a murderer and adulterer, whom
    then Jesus is called the Son of…) to what you have written. Thank you!

  • Joeyreese63

    This is amazing Praise God those scriptures and words about our savior is awesome this touched me deep within my heart sprititualy it is tough because i sin alot and i ask forgivness and i feel as if i try and try to show God i am a changed man for him but i just keep slipping but i do know that there is hope in Christ and Christ will heal me from all the tempations in my life and make me of him to not be exposed to sinful things. thank you this made my night God is good. thank you!

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