The author and poet Maya Angelou said, “Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself”.

We all have done things in life that we regret. With our fallen human nature, it’s only natural that we make mistakes and feel honest guilt because of them. What matters at the end of the day is how we deal with that remorse. Do we let it overtake us with sorrow and grief? Or do we place it in the hands of God, accept His forgiveness, and move on?

The first option will do us no good. It will only hold us back from our true potential and lead us to ruin. When we give in to our sorrow and wallow in our regret, it keeps us stagnant and draws us away from God and His love. We drive ourselves further and further away from forgiving ourselves and limit our own potential. We even shy away from God, believing that because of our mistakes we aren’t good enough to be in a relationship with Him.

We must push these thoughts away. After all, if Jesus gave His very life in order to offer us forgiveness and reconciliation with God, why then can’t we forgive ourselves? When we don’t offer ourselves forgiveness, we discount Jesus’ sacrifice and thereby reduce the honor and praise He deserves. He has offered us a clean slate and a fresh start: Why would we not accept it?

2 Corinthians 5:17 speaks clearly to us: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT). When we accept the forgiveness made possible by Jesus, we start a brand-new life. We are no longer bound by the chains that once held us back. We can march bravely and boldly forward in freedom!

Jesus is waiting for us with open arms. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you’ve done. He loves you just the same. He has bought your forgiveness at the price of His very life. Allow that truth to inhabit your life today! What better day than today to forgive yourself and embrace His sacrifice for you.

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