How Do I Forgive Myself?

How to forgive myself, God's masterpeice

Over the last two blogs, here at Life Palette, we have looked at “Why I Should Forgive Myself” and the principle of “You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have” when it comes to forgiveness. Today I want to dig in to the more practical side of forgiving yourself with some “how to” steps.

Let Jesus Heal The Wound 

Letting Jesus heal the wound is the first step toward forgiving yourself. To truly live in the freedom of forgiving ourselves, Jesus wants to take us all on a journey of healing. It may feel awkward at first, it’s probably something you really don’t want to have to talk about, but the truth is, Jesus loves you to much to leave you at just forgiven by the Father, He wants you to be healed.

There is a great conversation recorded in John 21 in scripture. Simon Peter had denied knowing Jesus the night before He was crucified, 3 times. This is Peter’s 4th time to see Jesus since His death and resurrection, yet they have not had a conversation about that night and the denials. It must have been uncomfortable for Peter, probably a conversation he really didn’t want to have, but he knew it had to happen.

What happens in this conversation is a picture for us of how Jesus affirms who we are as His masterpiece. Peter denied knowing Jesus 3 times, now Jesus is about to redeem and confirm Peter 3 times, in front of the other disciples. In the mist of this conversation, we see the process of forgiving ourselves lived out.

This Feels Scary

Peter has been forgiven, we see that through tears of repentance and now he is back in the circles of the apostles, living as a follower of Jesus. This is not a conversation that Jesus needs, this is for Peter. “After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?…” Peter’s sin had given doubt to his love for Jesus. Jesus could have said  “because you denied even knowing me, I’m a little suspect as to whether or not you really love me. Why weren’t you with me? Why did you throw me under the bus? How can you even say you love me” But He didn’t. This is a journey of healing that is about to take place.

When you have offended another and your sincerity is being questioned, you need Him to heal the wound that sin brings. In the same way you want to be completely forgiven you need to be completely healed. It’s the first step to forgiving yourself. When you are going through this process be careful not to move on to quickly, otherwise you may settle on the wrong bottom and not be completely healed.

The conversation continued: “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.”  (John 21:15 NLT) Why is this so important for Jesus? We know why it’s important for Peter, or for you; healing, restoration, and the removal of fear. The reality is that it’s important for Jesus because He wants you to know that you are completely forgiven by the Father. Until you are healed and can forgive yourself you live in fear of always wondering if God has truly forgiven you.

So, Jesus probes the most hidden chambers of Peters heart so that Peter can forgive himself. This is about Peter getting past his past and knowing with confidence that Jesus is past it. This is about Peter feeling secure in the lesson he has learned. This is about Peter’s future.  Jesus is about to make him a great leader. Peter is about to give the first message of the New Testament church, to write some of the New Testament and have a profound impact of the future of all of humanity.

 It’s About Your Future

The healing of the wound, the forgiveness of  self from God’s perspective is not about your past, it’s about your future and all that He has created you to be as His masterpiece. The enemy wants you to live in the guilt and shame that the memories of your past haunt you with. But God wants you to live in the future He has for you, masterpiece living. The basis of it all is His love. Love forgives.  And if you are going to “love your neighbor as yourself” the way Jesus tells you to. You are going to have to forgive yourself.  That forgiveness starts with letting Jesus heal the wounds that we live with day after day from past mistakes, sins and choices.


Remember, Jesus Loves you to much to leave you at just “forgiven”. He wants to heal the wounds to take you to the NEW LIFE that He has planned for you. The next step to forgiving yourself is learning to trust God to use all things for your good. I will explore this more in depth in tomorrow’s Life Palette blog.