As I get older, I have begun to realize how much people hurt themselves with self criticism. I think it’s a much bigger problem than conceit. Of course people will always battle with vanity, hypocrisy, selfishness,etc. But I believe that many of us treat ourselves very harshly in our inner lives. The part of us that no one knows about unless we tell them.
God knows. He knows all about our foibles and wrong decisions, beliefs, and actions. But His mercy is far greater than ours. He can love us when we do wrong. He is willing to forgive and forget, and let us make a new start.
In Psalms Chapter 103, verses 11-14, it says: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust. [NIV Bible]
This is one of the greatest blessings that God gives us when we believe in Him. Even when we can’t–or won’t–forgive ourselves, God forgives us. All we have to do is tell Him we’re sorry. I tell God my regrets. I tell Him when I feel guilty and wrong. I am learning how to let God heal me from that inner pain that no one else knows about. I am learning how not to stand in judgment of myself (especially my younger self!). It’s taken a long time, and it’s still difficult for me to forgive myself when I hurt someone’s feelings or when I feel anger rise up inside of me. I sin in my thoughts and my words and my actions. My hands are not clean, except through the shed blood of Jesus. The only righteousness I have is through the Son of God. The only true relief from that voice of accusation inside of us is God. He is the remedy for the way we punish ourselves for our faults. Believe He is who He says He is, and allow Him to do a work inside of you that you can’t do for yourself! God will pick you up, and He won’t stop loving you!