You must, oh dear beloved, forgive yourself.
You must forgive yourself for not being the fastest, strongest, smartest, or best dressed. You must forgive yourself for missing that deadline, breaking that program, failing those clients. Forgive yourself for not winning every promotion, negotiation, or sale.
You must also forgive yourself for the times when you were selfish or rude or hateful or disparaging. Forgive yourself for wounding others. Forgive yourself for your self-destruction, your self-inflicted wounds, your self-loathing moments.
Forgive yourself for being afraid.
Because through his son, the God of the Universe has already forgiven you. He has forgiven your weakness. He has forgiven your fear.
For you to refuse to forgive where God has already forgiven ignores his sacrifice. It denies his love. It adds back burdens that he has already removed.
Don’t ever let yourself off the hook for not caring or not trying. Don’t forgive yourself for minimizing your shortcomings. Your failures, after all, do carry a great cost. You just don’t have to pay for them.
This was a scary post to write for me because the inspiration, structure, and some phrasing, comes from this secular blog post by Seth Godin. It’s important though, because as believers we have a reason to forgive ourselves. Non-believers don’t.