Sometimes we let ourselves get away with a lot of things, but if someone else does those same things we point it out to them rather emphatically. But sometimes we let the offenses of others slide easier than we will let our own. For me, I know who I am and exactly what my thoughts and motives are, so I know exactly what I did and why. This at times has caused me to be unforgiving towards myself.
There was a time that I had committed what I will call a long, drawn out set of stupidity. I knew what I was doing and that I shouldn’t do it, but I continued with it and I was not the only one who suffered the consequences. Someone else had committed their own offenses along with me, but I was able to forgive them much sooner than I could forgive myself. I was so upset with myself for being “willfully stupid,” as I called it. I had known better. I should have done better. Why had I still done it anyway? What was wrong with me? What in the world was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking, that’s what. Why wasn’t I thinking? Why was I so willfully stupid? Why was I stupid on purpose?
I remember talking to God about it. I knew I should be able to let go. It wasn’t healthy for me to keep beating myself up about it. God had already forgiven me, but I was having a hard time following His example. I remember talking to my mom about it, too. She told me what I already knew. I had forgiven the other person and apologized to them for my own wrong. I had apologized to God and asked His forgiveness, and it was already given. If God Himself had forgiven me, then it was morally wrong for me not to forgive myself. While I knew that I don’t know better than God does, I was acting like I did. He knows more than I do about myself, and He forgave me anyway, so why should I still be raising up a subject that God had clearly thrown aside and forgotten about? Why should I be “punishing” myself and beating myself up about it when God clearly said that was not necessary?
It didn’t take much longer after that for me to forgive myself. It was still a process, but by God’s grace and strength I was able to do it. The unforgiveness has popped up on me a few times since then, but that’s when I go to God and I remind myself that He already forgave it. He probably wonders why I’m bringing it up, since He’s already long forgotten it. If God can forgive me, then I can forgive me and not pick up the offense again.