Learning how to forgive yourself is a necessary part of being a Christian

When you learn how to forgive yourself, you'll be surprised at the stress it relieves.

We singles tend to go in the opposite direction--beating ourselves up. We get the weird idea that there's something honorable about being hard on ourselves.

Sorry. Mortification is well...morbid. Scripture says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. You wouldn't vandalize a brick-and-mortar temple, so don't do it to your body, or your mind either.

What's the best reason to pardon yourself? Because God forgives you. He's incapable of doing anything wrong, so we should try to do as he does.

When you judge yourself guilty, you're saying, in effect, that Jesus' death was insufficient to pay for your sins. That's just plain wrong. It's also wrong to think that you can disappoint God.

Don't misunderstand me. We all sin, and sin offends God. But we need to confess it, repent, and move on.

We don't get holier by lugging around a giant backpack full of guilt. It's a long journey to heaven, so we need to travel light, chucking all the unnecessary stuff along the way.

It takes maturity to let go. It takes real wisdom to recognize that first, this kind of self-blame is contrary to God's feelings toward you, and second, it's a self-imposed punishment that's uncalled for, because Jesus already paid your debt in full on the cross.

So dig deep into your backpack of memories today, pull out all the junk you've been torturing yourself over and toss it away. Forgive yourself. You'll feel a ton lighter when you do.

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