The Divine Conspiracy: When We Can’t Forgive Ourselves


“Today we sometimes speak of people who cannot forgive themselves. Usually, however, the problem is much deeper. More often than not, these are people who refuse to live on the basis of pity. Their problem is not that they are hard on themselves, but that they are proud. And if they are hard on themselves, it is because they are proud. They do not want to accept that they can only live on the basis of pity from others, that the good that comes to them is rarely ‘deserved.’ If they would only do that, it would transform their lives. They would easily stop punishing themselves for what they have done.” – Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

The real reason it’s so hard for many of us to forgive ourselves is because we arrogantly believe that we shouldn’t have made the mistake in the first place.

We think too highly of ourselves; refusing to confess that we are fundamentally broken; helpless to be righteous apart from God’s grace.

Pride blinds us to our depravity. I’ve been the guy who couldn’t forgive myself and I’ve sat across from people like that, too.

We say, “I can’t forgive myself” as though it’s some holy cross to bear, when more often than not it’s just an unwitting confession of ego issues.

The next time you can’t forgive yourself, get over yourself, and realize all the grace you need has already been given to you through Jesus Christ at calvary.

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