How to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes

Do you feel trapped in regret and unsure how to forgive yourself for past mistakes? Your Heavenly Father extends unending love towards you, not condemnation and punishment. Allow these forgiveness scriptures to help set you free from the bonds of un-forgiveness and experience a life of grace and mercy.

All throughout the scriptures there are stories of God’s forgiveness and unfailing love towards us. Forgiveness in the bible is displayed in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. David found mercy and forgiveness from God when he committed adultery and had a man murdered. A prostitute found forgiveness and love when she poured out her alabaster box on Jesus’ feet. Just like the men and women who found forgiveness in the bible, you too can learn how to forgive yourself.

Forgiving ourselves can feel difficult at times, especially if we feel we don’t deserve it. God’s forgiveness however does not have limits attached to it. He said, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12 NKJV). If God has forgiven us, why do we find it a struggle to forgive ourselves? Is it the hope that by not forgiving yourself you are somehow doing penance for what you did? Or maybe you think un-forgiveness will serve as a constant reminder to you of what you did so you won’t do it again. Or maybe you feel locked in the past, unsure of how to forgive yourself and move on.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NKJV).

1 John 1:9 declares that if we confess our sins, God forgives us. Not only does God forgive us but He cleanses us of that sin, mistake or wrong-doing. His forgiveness restores the standard. It’s as if that mistake or sin never happened! This forgiveness scripture epitomizes God’s heart towards you. He not only wants to forgive your sins; He wants to cleanse you so you are returned to the clean state you were in before you messed up. Maybe you feel what you did is impossible to forgive. No matter how dark your sin, there is forgiveness in the heart of God for you.

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"Regardless of the circumstances around you or the heartache inside of you, there is always forgiveness and grace."


“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV).

God knows the questioning and rehearsing of past mistakes we reflect on over and over in our mind. This is why He said “come now, and let us reason together”. He wants His forgiveness to be the final statement in the battle of your mind. Learning how to forgive yourself starts by accepting the forgiveness of God for your situation. His declaration of forgiveness towards you then enables you to forgive yourself.

We will find it easier to forgive ourselves when we realize the magnitude of forgiveness God has poured out upon us. Our desire to do good fades in insignificance when we catch a glimpse of the glory and perfection of our Heavenly Father. None of us can stand before Him without fully relying on His mercy, grace and forgiveness that comes through the power of the cross. This realization gives us joy in accepting the wonderful gift of forgiveness for ourselves. The power of God’s forgiveness sets you free to forgive yourself.

John 3:17 says “for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (NKJV). Learning how to forgive yourself involves lifting off the shame and condemnation of your own mind and replacing it with God’s mercy, love and grace. If Jesus does not condemn us, there is no reason for us to remain under our own condemnation. Through the power of the cross, Jesus’ sacrifice for our wrong doings has cleansed us and we are free of condemnation and free to forgive ourselves.

Those who came to Jesus looking for forgiveness always found it. He didn’t turn people away saying their sin was too great to forgive. No matter what mistakes you have made or wrong doings you have committed, you can learn how to forgive yourself and accept God’s forgiveness and love. We can love much because we are forgiven much (Luke 7:47). As you forgive yourself, you are allowing God’s love to flow through you to others.

Learning how to forgive yourself can be hindered by holding on to the regrets and mistakes of the past. Don’t live in the past, thinking of the words you wish you could take back, the situations you wish you had handled differently or the relationships you wish you had given a second chance. Accept the forgiveness of God towards yourself and move into the grace and mercy He has for you today. God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). This means there is new mercy for you today. If you continually live in the regrets of yesterday, you are not experiencing the mercy God has for you today.

The heart of the Father is continually filled with love and mercy towards you. Regardless of the circumstances around you or the heartache inside of you, there is always forgiveness and grace. Allow the comfort and forgiveness of God to melt the walls of un-forgiveness you are holding up against yourself. Don’t hold yourself captive in a prison of your own condemnation and regret. Learn how to forgive yourself and begin to look to your future. It is continually filled with God’s mercy, grace and hope.



Forgiveness in the Bible

Forgiveness Scriptures

"For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You."
Psalm 86:5 NKJV


"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:9 NKJV


"For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Jeremiah 31:34 NKJV


“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little”.
Luke 7:47 NKJV


“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalm 103:12 NKJV


“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 NKJV


"This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:21-23 NKJV


"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
John 3:17 NKJV



Other Recommended Articles

Sermon on Forgiveness – Finding Forgiveness in the Bible after Adultery
Goodness & Mercy Shall Follow Me
Putting Away the Pointing of the Finger





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