What Does it Mean to Forgive Ourselves?

Understanding the good and bad side of regret

Scripture doesn’t mention forgiving ourselves.

When we feel we haven’t forgiven ourselves, we’re actually talking about regret.

Regret can be positive:

1. It can humble us, leading to repentance, restoration, and reconciliation (James 4:8-10).

2. Paul let his regret motivate him to great ministry (1 Timothy 1:12-16).

Regret can also be negative:

1. We can wallow in self-pity, regretting our consequences without actually regretting our sins. Cain is an example of this type of regret (Genesis 4:1-13).

The answer: to face our sins and accept our consequences like King David (2 Samuel 12:1-23).

2. We can regret our sins but refuse to move forward.

Typically this comes from dwelling too much on our own feelings and becoming hopeless and insecure.

The answer: Paul gives us the wisdom we need to move forward in Philippians 3:7-14. If you are struggling with regret, I encourage you to read this passage daily. 

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For more on Cain:
A Good Bad Example
For more on David:
Short List Repentance

Why not check out today's Bite Size Bible Study on this devotion. It contains extra information and full text Bible passages for quick and easy study.


Understanding the good and bad side of regret

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