Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins.” (Psalms 25:18 NLT)
I read a story yesterday of a Civil War tragedy. A father in Philadelphia had 4 sons; the older two moved to New Orleans to start a business, the younger two stayed home. When the war broke out, the older two fought for the South while the younger ones enlisted with the North. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, the two younger brothers were killed, the youngest possibly even at the hands of the oldest. A Union chaplain shared that when the older brother realized what happened, he surrendered himself to the North, and was admitted to a hospital in Virginia, a broken man having lost his mind to grief and self-hatred.
Sometimes the hardest sins to forgive are our own. Nobody hates us like ourselves, so when we fall short of God’s mark, we take the Lord’s tender convictions and use it as whips against our own heart. But God’s design was for us to be free from bitterness and hatred. Just because the object of our hatred and loathing is ourselves doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes!
As you spend time in prayer today, let God show you where you allow this to happen in your own life. If you don’t forgive and learn to love yourself, you’ll eventually unleash that same unforgiveness onto others. Be free to be forgiven! Learn to love by first loving and forgiving yourself! Have a blessed weekend!