Forgiveness…Forgiving Yourself, Forgiving Others, And Moving Forward By Minister Joy Clark As I sit writing this, my eyes are filled with tears. Why tears, because of the forgiveness that I have received, the forgiveness of God, forgiveness of myself for bad decisions I made- things that I’ve done that I locked up on the inside of me, that kept me in bondage, but today, I forgave myself. When we don’t forgive ourselves, it makes it difficult for us to love, to treat people right, to love ourselves. You cannot effectively love other people if you don’t love yourself. As children, most of us were taught to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Well, if you aren’t loving yourself, how then can you love another? In Leviticus 19:18, the Lord spoke to Moses and told him to speak to the children of Israel and tell them, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself, and then in verse 19 He says, “I am the Lord, you shall keep My statues.” I am determined to keep God’s statues, His commands. Often times people will ask me, how can you be cool with this person after they’ve done thus & so. My answer is love. Someone at some point forgave me. God forgave me, so who am I not to forgive? Romans 3:25 in the Amplified says, “Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood, [the cleansing and life giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness because in His divine forbearance, He passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. Just think, God passed over and ignored former sins without punishment!” Whatever that person did, let it go! Pass over it and ignore it. Be like God. He forgives and forgets! Isaiah 43:25 says that “I even I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sakes, and I will not remember your sins.” Furthermore, stop replaying the things you did in the past. If you had an abortion, God forgave you the moment you asked Him. Hurt someone? God forgave you the moment you opened your mouth and asked Him! God is not standing accusing you or anyone else. Scripture tells us that’s what satan does, (see Revelations 12:10). The enemy is the one who constantly has what you did on replay. He alone is the accuser of the brethren, while Christ, the anointed one is the propitiation, the mercy seat. Beloved, forgive yourself. There is nothing that you cannot forgive yourself for. If God can love you with a sincere love, love so sincere that He gave His Son Jesus as a ransom for sin, mistakes, etc., then it’s time for you to love yourself like God loves you. Love from a pure place. Love without conditions or limitations! Love has no limits, so stop trying to rationalize how much you can love yourself, or that other person. It’s time for you to move forward! Love yourself right where you’re at right now, knowing that if you take that first step of faith, your love is only going to increase and grow stronger. Look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I love me!” When you begin to love yourself, you enable yourself to love other people!