“So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.”
The verse above is needless. Yes, it is needless because Joseph had already forgiven his brethren. Genesis 45:4-5, “And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Joseph made it clear to his brethren in this verse that he had forgiven them. As far as Joseph was concerned, he had already moved on from what his brothers did to him and what their actions caused in his life.
The reason that the verse above is in the Scriptures is because Joseph’s brothers had not forgiven themselves for what they had done to him. This verse is needless because, had they forgiven themselves as Joseph had forgiven them, they would not have begged his forgiveness after their father died. These men thought that Joseph didn’t do anything bad to them because their father was still alive. These men thought that Joseph would be like them, but they didn’t understand what the power of forgiveness did in Joseph’s life. Though these men heard Joseph forgive them, they still struggled with the greatest person to forgive, themselves. There are several reasons why a person won’t forgive themselves.
First, people don’t forgive themselves because they haven’t gotten right with God about their wrong. It is impossible to forgive yourself for what you have done if you haven’t repented of your sin to God. The first step in forgiving yourself is to get right with God.
Second, people don’t forgive themselves because they doubt God’s forgiving power. Always remember that there is no boundary to Divine forgiveness. God’s forgiveness forgives the deepest sin. When you understand that there are no depths to God’s forgiving power is when you can start the road to forgiving yourself for what you have done.
Third, people don’t forgive themselves because they don’t understand God’s love. Sin has a way of making us think that God doesn’t love us because of what we have done. My friend, let me remind you that you have never deserved God’s love. God chose to love you in spite of you. You will find it easier to forgive yourself when you understand that God never stopped loving you.
Fourth, people don’t forgive themselves because they haven’t accepted the situation that their sin caused. Sin does have consequences, and one of the greatest reasons we struggle with forgiving ourselves is because we haven’t accepted the situation we are in because of our sin. The quicker you accept your situation in life that sin has caused, the more quickly you can forgive yourself for what you have done.
Fifth, people don’t forgive themselves because they haven’t moved on to helping others. The best way to forgive yourself is to go tell someone about Jesus. The more you tell others about Christ, the more you will understand the power of Christ’s forgiveness in your life. Understanding Christ’s power to forgive will help you to learn how to forgive yourself.