It’s popular to say that we need to forgive ourselves, but is that a valid concept?
I’d suggest that the desire for ourselves to be forgiven is a valid one, but we don’t have the power to forgive ourselves. Telling someone that they have to forgive themselves before they forgive others doesn’t make sense, just like forgiving myself for a debt I owe to the bank is silly. Forgiveness has to come from outside of myself.
This quote says it all:
The next time an individual says, “I just can’t forgive myself,” the first thought that should come to mind is, “That’s right, you can’t!” Then patiently and lovingly instruct him from the word of God so that his focus is on the only One Who can. A proper view of God’s forgiveness sensitively taught from the word of God is what a person needs to bridge the gap between knowing he is forgiven and feeling he is forgiven. The facts should precede and supersede the feelings. Self-forgiveness is not biblical terminology. It should not be used in biblical counseling. When someone cannot forgive himself, he is not accepting the forgiveness of God. When God has forgiven, one must accept it and move on, serving Him and others as he goes. (Baptist Bible College and Seminary. (2001; 2003). Journal of Ministry and Theology Volume 5 (vnp.5.1.98). Baptist Bible College and Seminary)