Pelican moms will sacrifice their own blood to feed their children. Jesus sacrificed Himself to give us life. Pelican Promise is my offering as I attempt to live a sacrificial life for Him. Will you join me? "And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:2
“You just have to forgive yourself” my friend told me. I grievously sinned against God and another
believer. My heart broke and no matter
how much I asked God to forgive me I did not feel forgiven. But forgiving myself? Somehow that did not sit right in my spirit. However, I would repeat the phase to others
when they felt the lack of forgiveness.
“You just have to forgive yourself”
“What does this
mean? Is it biblical?"
Through prayer and
study the Lord revealed to me why my spirit was unsettled about the statement,
As a believer I know that sin is inevitable. Even the Apostle Paul confessed his
"For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I
do not want to do—this I keep on doing" Romans 7:19
What did the apostle Paul do when he encountered his own
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body
that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus
Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:24-25
He acknowledged his sin.
He acknowledged the need to be rescued from it.
He thanked God for Jesus' deliverance.
He did not forgive himself.
As I continued to study I heard these questions echo in my
"Did you hang on the cross?”
"Was the sin of the world put on you?"
"Did you endure excruciating pain?"
"Are you God?"
Tears filled my eyes as I exclaimed
“NO! NO! NO! NO!”
You did it Lord, You were the one.”
I remembered the following verse.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that
we might die to sins and live for righteousness;”1 Peter 2:24
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and
mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all
people." 1 Timothy 2:5-6
“Why do I still feel
bad after knowing that I am forgiven? I
know that I stand righteous before God because I am in Christ, so why am I
hurting?” Fifteen years later I got my
answer during a sermon from Reverend Ken Lawrence of First Baptist Church in
Hampton Falls,NH. I am ashamed to say I do
not remember the sermon topic but I remember him saying, “Sin leaves a wound
and that wound needs to heal.”
“That’s it! I have a
spiritual wound that needs time to heal.”
I sat in the pew carefully writing down exactly what the
pastor said. I continued jotting down
verses that came to mind.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any
double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and
marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
The Word is a sword that goes deep; cutting out the sin that
so easily entangles; leaving a spiritual wound.
The pain from the divine surgery lingers and we think that we are not
forgiven; then self condemnation sets in.
We must allow our sin wound to heal. This takes time.
As the Word convicts and cuts; it also heals. We still feel pain because we hurt the other person.
"There is therefore, NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1
"I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin
against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against
me." Jeremiah 33:8
Why do people say, “You must forgive yourself?” In my case it was ignorance. Ignorance of what truly takes place in a
person who has sinned against a most Holy God.
I did not realize the pain I felt was the healing of a wound surgically
removed by the Word of God through conviction and repentance. I have forgiveness. I stand righteous before God in Christ. Nothing can take that Truth away.
“For he chose us in him (Christ) before the creation of the
world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, In him (Christ) we have
redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the
riches of God’s grace” Ephesians 1:4,7
How will you respond when someone says, “You just need to
forgive yourself”? Be gentle. Remember we are all at different places in
our walk with Jesus.
Maybe you are the one making this statement to others. God knows your motives. My motive was to help and encourage. Also, I
was repeating what I heard. Now I know
So what do you say to someone who has sinned, asked for
forgiveness and still feels guilty?
"Have you been forgiven through Christ? Live in that forgiveness and embrace the
Truth. Your Heavenly Father does not judge you for that sin, so why judge yourself? The power to forgive comes only from God and that power lives in you through the Holy Spirit."
Encourage them with the Word.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the
full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us
from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews
Respond like Isaiah; who stood before the Holiness of God, He heard the angels and the glory of God surrounded him. He was pierced to the heart with conviction and
he felt ruined.
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his
hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth
and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt
is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the
Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah
Isaiah did not remain in the pain; He stepped forward to serve the
The best way to heal from a Spiritual wound is serving your
I promise the pain will decrease as you continue to serve Him basking in His love