If God Has Forgiven Me, Why Can’t I Forgive Myself?

I have felt led to share the most “Google Searched” post since I started blogging almost a year ago. I have gotten so many emails on this subject, asking for prayer, I know it is something that so many deal with. But we do not have to if we have repented! I hope today’s post blesses you, and if you do not need it, please pass it on. You have no idea who might be struggling with this lie.

“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalms 103:12.

Do you know if you get on an airplane and fly east as long as you want to, forever if it were possible; there will never be a time when you will all of a sudden be going west! And you can go west for eternity but there will never be a time you will reach the east.

But if you travel north, you can only go so far until you will eventually be going south. And if you travel south, and pass Antarctica, you’ll be headed up north again and so vice versa.

How far is the east from the west? They never meet!

This is why God said He has removed our sins “as far from us as the east is from the west”. This is one of the most beautiful symbolic portraits in scripture of God’s forgiveness. He separates it from us and doesn’t remember it anymore! He forgives AND forgets. We like to bring up our ugly past but God has wiped the slate clean. When we continually repent about the same sin over and over again I wonder if He is just shaking His head and saying, “My child, I already forgave you of that the first time you asked!”

If God Has Forgiven Me...

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25. NIV

When our former sins come to our minds we can either dwell on them, and feel guilty all over again, or we can choose to feast on thoughts of the wonderful God that forgave us, and give Him the praise. “…Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8.

God is also not pleased with people who do not forgive themselves because they don’t really WANT to forget their former sins. They enjoy reliving them in their minds, but this is also a sin! A man, or woman, who lusts in their heart, is guilty of the sin of adultery, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  Matthew 5:28. Comparatively, every time we mentally relive our sin, we are committing that same sin over again. This is very dangerous in the life of a child of God. If you have repented of it, ask God to get it out of your mind!!

“He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19.

There are also times we don’t feel forgiven when we have honestly repented. That is a lie from the enemy! The Bible says the devil is the father of lies. He puts toxic thoughts in our minds because he knows our past is forgiven, it is hidden, under the blood.

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!” Psalms 32:1.

The Prodigal Son, who had squandered all of his inheritance on “wild living”, came to his senses and realized that the servants in his father’s house were living better than he was! Prodigal, by definition, is a spendthrift, or a waster, a squanderer; a person who spends money in a recklessly extravagant way. This young man insisted his father give him his inheritance while he could still enjoy it; and he did just that. He spent every last dime, and when it was gone, he found himself at the mercy of anyone who would give him even the literal slop that they fed to their pigs to eat.

But he swallowed his pride and went home to his father who RAN to him and welcomed him back with open arms! Phillips,Craig and Dean recorded a beautiful song about the Prodigal Son entitled, “When God Ran”, that tells the story so beautifully.You can listen to it here.

Are you struggling with letting go of something today? Is the enemy whispering past sins in your ear? Remember he is a liar, and everything he is telling you? The opposite is true! Your sins are under the blood and are remembered no more! “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1.

“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman (caught in the act of adultery), ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’” John 8:10-11.

Are you having trouble reliving your sin? For your sake, your family’s sake, let it go. You are already forgiven and it is time to move on. The more we dwell on things from our past the harder it is to forget them and make a fresh start.

And lastly, what if you are the UN-FORGIVEN? Not by the Lord of course, but what if you have clearly hurt someone or wronged them and then not only repented and made it right with God, but you tried to make it right with them as well,but they will not accept your apology? They will not forgive. They have clearly made you their enemy. They just refuse to reconcile.

Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. We need to pray for good things to come into their lives. Pray for good health in their families. Pray for financial blessings. The Bible also tells us that God will not forgive those who do not forgive their brother so they definitely need Jesus. If they are a Christian, they will not have peace as long as they are not obeying the commandment to forgive so you need to just pray for them that their heart will be softened. Pray that you will not become bitter; you can’t make them forgive you so just keep praying for them, and loving them, from a distance, if necessary.

Whatever you have been struggling with, struggle no more friend. Jesus has already paid the price.

If you have repented of the sin, He has forgiven and forgotten, as far as the east is from the west.

Now that’s pretty far…

AS far as the east is



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  1. says

    Thank you all for the words of encouragement. I have been struggling with something that I did over thirty years ago. At the time I would not allow myself to think about what I had done and now recently I am constantly reminded of this past deed. I think that I am not worthy to live even though I know that God forgives me. I think that we are harder on ourselves that God is. I will constantly tell satan to get thee be hind me.

    • Nannette says

      Hi Judith, so happy you have shared. God DOES forgive if you have repented, He forgave! The enemy definitely wants to sit on your shoulder and remind you over and over again of your mistake. But God forgives AND forgets. My best suggestion is to pour yourself into the Word. Quote it outloud and make it personal, insert your name in the Psalms and pray them like David did. God is faithful and He has given you authority over the devil. We just don’t always exercise that authority. Bind that spirit of deception and release the peace of God in its place! In Jesus’ name, the most powerful name on this earth. Blessings to you, write me if you like ynannette@gmail.com

  2. Julia says

    Dear Candace Jo,

    Thank you so much for this article. It has helped me tremendously. I committed a terrible sin a year ago and lied about it when confronted. After the drama was over I continued to live in sin and turned from God. However, recently, God convicted me of my sins and I have turned to Him and have begun to live my life for Him.

    I however, have not confessed my sins to the person that I have wronged because my pastor said that doing so would open a can of worms & would ruin his life – I wanted to confess simply to alleviate myself of the guilt. He prayed for me and told me to move past my sin, to love the person I have sinned against whole-heartedly, and to live a life victoriously for God.

    I am, however, still experiencing feelings of tremendous guilt now and then. It affects me so much that I cannot eat or sleep. But after reading your article, I now know that guilt comes from the enemy, and that I should instead focus on the blessings and forgiveness that God has given me.

    Thank you. May God bless you and your beautiful family :)

    • Nannette says

      Dear Julia, God bless you for stopping by. My sincerest apologies for my absence in replying to comments. I am so happy that you have allowed the Lord to speak to you and returned to Him! I agree that it is good to follow your pastor’s advice, he seeks God for you on your behalf and we trust the Lord has given him wisdom to share with you. The guilt is NOT from God. He forgives and then forgets! I am praying for you today that the Lord will continue to strengthen you, bless you and help you to let go of things that you cannot change and He has forgotten. Much love and write anytime. ♥


    I am struggling sooooo bad right now in trying to forgive myself for accusing someone for something they didnt do. Although the puzzle pieces seemd to fit, the proof piece was missing yet I accused them only to apologize after i found out the truth. The problem is this person hurt me very deeply. In short, we lived together for 5 yrs. All the while i was manipulated , abused emotionally, financially and sometimes physically. I beleive he is a narcissist. I finally begged God to set me free from this person which he did. It was after the breakup that i accused him. When i found out the truth, i cried and begged God to forgive me. I also emailed a sincere apology. He replied that he accepts my apology, but i still feel soooo bad. Not because i want a relationship, but because I falsely accused him to begin with. I was angry and hurt for what he did for 5 yrs that i took what was presented at face value instead and falsely accused someone. Even though he hurt me deeply and it still hurts just thinking about the last 5 yrs of pain he caused me, i cant get to the point of forgiving myself for falsely accusing him. Im trying so hard to be right with God n being a better person. I dont know much at all about the bible as i was never taught. I google everything buti truly belive and have always believed that Jesus died for me. I just need to know how he can forgive me when i cant forgive myself. Someone please help me!!!!

    • Margaret says

      The power of prayer is so great. There are many prayer support groups online that you could contact, as well as your local pastor and church, if that is available to you. And, of course, you came to the right place here. Ii will offer a prayer, too.

      • Nannette says

        Yes it is Margaret! Thank you for your encouraging words here. Blessings. ♥

  4. BlessedAndConfused says

    Just writing this is an act of faith for me. I struggle with this everyday. I have sinned against people. No laws were broken. Nothing those I sinned against cannot forgive, and I believe everyone of them has. Years ago. I still commit what I consider lesser sins; anger, lack of focus in my job, and of course this right here… the feeling, no… ‘knowledge’ that I am sinful and therefore unworthy of God’s true love. I know the enemy’s favorite tool is lies and self loathing, and of course I know that God forgives. I would tell any soul that no matter what they feel, God loves them and wants them to live a free and happy life. I, however, can’t help myself. I always believe I must pay some higher price. I am full of love for everyone but myself. God has been so good to me. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Please pray that God will Himself actively cease this nonsense of mine and free me from the chains of my own obstinance. I can’t seem to do it on my own.

    • Candace Jo says

      So happy you took the time to write today! We have all sinned, friend, none of us are exempt from being human. Everything you have mentioned I am guilty of as well. None of us are worthy except for the cross! You are so right, the enemy’s favorite tool against us is lies…he is the father of lies. Anything he is telling you the opposite is true. The “higher price” has already been paid by Jesus Christ and you don’t have to keep paying for it. He forgives, He forgets and remembers it no longer. I AM praying for you today that God will free your mind, you will take the authority that is yours by the Name of Jesus and speak to your enemy to get behind you once and for all. Pray the scriptures out loud! The devil has to flee according to the Word of God. Much love and blessings to you….write anytime or email me at ynannette@gmail.com

  5. Zanmei says

    Thank you! It’s a relief to realize that others go through this also. In the past year some family members passed away (not under good circumstances), and I just started the menopause (extreme mood swings), so am quite vulnerable at this time. I’m being constantly reminded by the enemy of every sin since my youth and am contantly being told by him that I’m not worthy to be a Christian or serve God. I know God does not want me to be paralysed by this guilt, and that He has plans for me, but I’m still struggling to climb out of this dark pit. Your article is helping, though.

    • Candace Jo says

      So happy you happened upon this post. You are so right, God doesn’t want you to be paralyzed by guilt…trust Him. Lean on Him, get to know Him better and you will find yourself climbing out of that pit. In Jesus’ Name! ♥

  6. Mary Carlson says

    I believe I am forgiven by god but how will family forgive me for my mistakes

    • Candace Jo says

      Mary, so glad you have written. There is a possibility that everyone will NOT forgive you. That will be their loss, dear friend. What matters the most is that God forgives, unconditionally. Your family? You just keep loving them, keep showing God’s love, not forcing anything and pray for them above all. God is able to soften their hearts, look what He did for you! You recognized your need of Him, humbled yourself and came to His feet. Pray that they will be able to do the same. Pray that you will have patience and endurance and that they will be blessed with compassion. It can happen! But if not, hold your head high and keep living for God! Much love and prayer to you, email me anytime at ynannette@gmail.com. Blessings. ♥

  7. says

    Very needful words. I don’t have a problem forgiving others, but I’ve often struggled with forgiving myself, and maybe it’s not that I haven’t forgiven myself, but that I can’t stop beating myself up about it, when I would remember it again. I’ve often wondered if remembering our sins are part of the consequence of sinning. I don’t know, but I do know it isn’t God’s will for us to feel condemned if we have asked for forgiveness, and been granted forgiveness by God.

    • Candace Jo says

      We all beat ourselves up over things we wish we had never done, or had never happened. It is the enemy’s business to keep us hindered and beat down with guilt. I pray we can all believe that God forgives AND forgets! Blessings Dayle!

  8. says

    I have been hearing and reading a lot on forgiveness recently and agree that the hardest area seems to be in knowing how to forgive ourselves. We are always hardest on ourselves but our God is compassionate and chooses to forgive us even after the mistake is made over and over again. Your reminder and words of encouragement that God has forgiven and forgotten are words needed by all. Visiting you from Testimony Tuesday. Blessings, Mary!

    • Candace Jo says

      Well I agree Mary, we are hardest on ourselves! Thank you for commenting today!

  9. says

    Such a fantastic post. Thank you for sharing His Word with us at our Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party. I am so glad you came over to join us today.

  10. says

    Thank you, Candace Jo, for this excellent post! I love how you used the airplane flying east or west to illustrate how God forgives and forgets. May God bless you and your husband in your work for his Kingdom. I’ve come to visit you through Laura’s link up, Playdates with God.

    • Candace Jo says

      Thank you Nancy, so glad you came by today! He forgets!! That’s enough for me…♥

    • Candace Jo says

      Thank you Angie and for the linkup! Blessings!

  11. says

    Beautiful post, I truly liked it and found it inspiring. I am so glad it came my way in a time i feel i needed it. Thanks!

    • Candace Jo says

      Thank you Marwa, I am so happy this blessed you. We all have struggled with this at some point but we do not need to! So glad you came by, you are so welcome here!

  12. says

    ‘Oh for grace to trust Him more.’

    With all our sins, secrets, shames. After all, He already knows, has already taken care of what plagues our hearts.

    Thank you for this post, Candace …

    • Candace Jo says

      Love that, Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him! Thank you for taking time to comment and stopping by today! Blessings…

  13. Todd McMillen says

    Thanks so much… I have struggled for so long with the guilt of my past sin. I have hurt others who in this life may never forgive me or reconcile. I know now that I must choose to live and not continually die in the guilt of my past life. I have been hurting in this area for the past 3 years for a life I lived over 20 years ago.

    • Candace Jo says

      Todd, thank you so much for writing. I know how difficult it is to put pen to paper and say those words. You are not alone.

      This post on forgiveness is the most read article on my blog. Not a day goes by that a phrase such as the title of the post doesn’t show up in my google search analytics!

      It just goes to show how many people are hurting and received by the lies of the enemy. Did you know that GUILT is NOT from God? If you have repented and turned from your sin, God has forgive you. Period. The voices of guilt you hear are lies from the enemy.

      I heard them too for years and like I said in the article, the more we listen, the more we believe it until we are consumed and convinced we are worthless and doomed. Take authority with the Word of God and use it as your weapon! It works!

      And if you are filled with the Holy Spirit you have Christ IN you, the hope of Glory! No weapon formed against you can prosper!

      I will pray for you friend that you will continue in victory. If I can help in any way please let me know. God bless you in this New Year!

  14. Teresa Gatlin says

    Thank you so much for sharing and helping others. Believing that I’m forgiven has been difficult to grasp/feel and letting go of the bitterness and pain that have been caused by others is something I need to work on. I so needed this and it has truly touched my heart! I must have read it five times. I know I will refer back to this time often. What an awesome God we have!!! :)

    • Candace Jo says

      God is working Teresa! Keep trusting, believing and putting your confidence in Him. He never fails. He forgives and forgets, it is the enemy that wants us to wallow in our past because it keeps is from having a future! Bless you dear fiend and sister in Christ! Carry on!

  15. Racquel says

    Thank you. I am holding to something that occurred 19 years ago. I cried as I read your post. I pray that my Heavenly Father will give me strength to forgive myself and move on.

    • Candace Jo says

      Oh Racquel, I know what you are going through! I wrote this post because I have been where you are. And so have countless of others. This is the most visited article and the most searched for through the google search engine on my blog. It just goes to show how the enemy uses fear and guilt to torment us with our past. If you have repented and asked for forgiveness and you have the blood of Jesus applied to your life, have been baptized in His name, then you are forgiven! Your sins are under the blood according to His Word, He keeps no record of wrong! You are welcome to email me ynannette@gmail.com to discuss this further. I would be happy to help. Much love to you dear friend. He is FOR YOU! ♥

  16. says

    Thank you for this beautiful, precious blog. I live far away from you: in Europe.Further away than the distance between us Jesus removed our sins! :-) Let us be close to Him so we may ever rejoice in His amazing love!


    • Candace Jo says

      Hello! I am so glad you found Hope in the Healing! This article was one that I had struggled with over the years and I knew that others must have the same struggles. It has proven to be true! I get so many emails about it and requests for prayers from people. Once they realize Jesus forgives AND forgets it is a wonderful thing!! Where are you in Europe? We lived in Riga, Latvia for over a year doing missions work there and in Tallinn, Estonia for several months too! We love the Baltics! We just came home last April because of some health issues but hope to return. I am heading over to check out your blog and subscribe so I can follow you and keep in touch. I hope you will do the same so we can become better connected. I am having some issues with Bloglovin’ right now but my email subscription is working fine :) Would love to hear back! Blessings!

  17. Anita says

    Thank you so much for this post! I love the explanation of how far the east is from the west…”they never meet.”. I have heard and read these words for years and I guess I never really caught the full meaning because at times I struggle with forgiving myself or even believing that God would forgive me…yet again. But this word picture gives me a more clear understanding of what God is saying in His Word…and I can anchor my faith to His truth better. God bless you.

    • Candace Jo says

      Hello, Anita! Thank you for connecting to Hope in the Healing! I needed this post as much as anyone 😉 it was a struggle for me for many years as the enemy loved to torture me. As long as I would listen to him I would remain bound to my past. But again…if God forgives…it’s under the blood! Buried in His name! When we take on that name in baptism those sins are literally buried, then they can’t come back up! Washed away forever! Love, love, love it! So glad it was a blessing to you. And you are right, we can anchor to His truth! Blessings!!

  18. says

    Sometimes I dredge up the past so I don’t have to deal with the present sins in my life. Those sins were really so SINFUL! Ha! I love what you said about how when I do that I commit the sin over again. Thanks so much, this really gave me food for prayer. Carolynmimi

    • Candace Jo says

      Hi Carolyn! So honored you stopped by! You have given me so much to think about this year in SRT. I appreciate your wisdom so much. I love the community!! Blessings, friend!!

  19. says

    Coming over from SRT…. I read this post a few days ago when you referenced it in some of the discussion a few days back, and its wonderful. Everything in this post speaks to me. Every. Single. Word. If God, the Almighty, the great I AM, can forgive me and remember my sins no more, why is it so hard to forgive ourselves? Everything is this post is a beautiful reminder that I know I myself can use on a daily basis.

    Thank you for speaking from God’s heart.

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth! So glad you stopped by! I needed this post myself, so many of my writings are from my own experiences and things that the Lord had to teach ME. This was definitely one of my many struggles and I think so many others have trouble with it as well. But oh what a merciful Savior! And we are going to see in this study of Hosea and Gomer a beautiful story if redemption, forgiveness and mercy too.

      We are blessed by SRT to come together in community and make so many new friends even if we never get to “meet” on this side of heaven! You are welcome to follow the blog via email if you like, or stop by any time :)

  20. says

    Thank you for this post, Candace. Melted my heart. Especially JuneBug’s testimony. I’m glad I get to do bible study with you. Blessings, sweet sister!

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Ibukun! JuneBug is the best and SRT has been a real blessing to all of us! God bless you in your ministry friend!

  21. Ellen MR says

    Just lovely Candacejo! This really helps because I tend to be the least forgiving of myself. I’m getting better but I used to drown in guilt and would try to work so hard at making it up to whomever I felt I’d disappointed. It was absolutely exhausting! I’m so grateful our Lord says it’s forgotten. I still feel guilt, but not to the degree I did. And if someone chooses not to let it go, I have to move on. I’m learning life IS too short! I’ll pray and love from a far! 😉
    Wonderful blog, you’re doing an excellent job!!

    • says

      You are right, life is too short! All we can do is pray for those that will not forgive and then move on. I’m not saying I have always done it this way but I am getting better at it too :) Thank you for YOUR words of encouragement too Ellen. Hope you have a wonderful weekend friend!!


  1. […] Please feel welcome to email me if you need guidance to a Bible-believing church or need prayer. Please reach out to family, friends or a pastor; someone who will help you find Hope in Jesus Christ. He loves you more than you can imagine and desires to set you free and give joy unspeakable in the midst of your trouble. If you are struggling with believing you are forgiven, please read my post If God has Forgiven me, why can’t I Forgive Myself here. […]

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