Is there something in your life you can’t forgive yourself or someone else for? We all have something and many of us have multiple things we just can’t get over. Why is it when we are wronged, we feel someone has to pay a price? I guess it’s human nature and what we have been taught all of our lives. However, this human nature of self-condemnation or condemning others makes us bitter, miserable and keeps us from the joy that is also part of our human nature. So how do we get the human nature of joy to win over the human nature of condemnation?

Here are a couple of ways:

  • Know that others who have hurt you are not perfect. Many times the actions of those who have hurt you stem from their own brokenness. Therefore, their actions are not necessarily intentional but more circumstantial. Also, we come from different cultures, upbringings, social perspectives, etc. so sometimes hurtful situations come from a clash of perspectives or cultures. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the person who hurt you. This will help you have compassion for them instead of bitterness towards them.
  • Know that you are not perfect. You are going to make mistakes and some of those mistakes may hurt others or even yourself. Guess what? Life is full of second, third, fourth, fifth and many more chances. So give yourself some grace and don’t condemn yourself. This will allow you to move on from your mistakes and look for ways to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.
  • Know that God knows every mistake you are going to make and no matter how bad you screw up, He loves you. Just knowing He forgives EVERY mistake should be enough for you to forgive yourself and others. His love for your is more powerful than ANY mistake you could ever make or dream of. Nothing can separate you from His love.

I know these all sound so simple, but fulfilling them may not always be so easy. After all, we are human and are often influenced by our emotions. However, just give it a try and with a little bit of repetition it will get easier each time.

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