“It’s 2am already” he thought. But he couldn’t bring himself to have a restful night. His mind was clouded with resentful thoughts as he felt as if he was the greatest sinner alive. Iyke hated himself that night to the point of feeling he should commit suicide.
“Will God ever forgive me?” He thought aloud.
Iyke is a 200l Chemical Engineering student. He is one of the best student in his department and that has made him famous, though an introvert by nature. He grew up not knowing his dad because him mom was raped.
It was Tuesday at about 7pm Iyke reached for his books to go to the dormitory after taking the 100 level student tutorials. Steve and Ben stopped him. They were some rich students who made life difficult for poor students especially Iyke. They made mockery of him to the point they jeered his mom. Iyke couldn’t hold back but throw a punch at Ben. Ben fell to the ground. Hitting his head, he began bleeding. Iyke became so scared seeing the blood. Hence, he ran to his Dormitory. Ben was rushed to the clinic where he was treated.
Iyke hated himself for that. He rolled in tears wishing he had controlled the anger. “what if Ben loses one of his eyes?” he reiterated that thought. He kept asking himself if God will ever forgive him.
The next morning, he was summoned to the school panel. The school rusticated Ben and Steve as other student brought the issue of being harassed by Steve and Ben countlessly. From the moment the school rusticated Steve and Ben, Iyke hated himself for letting his anger get the whole of him which led to Ben’s injuries and rustication. That couldn’t let him forgive himself.
A lot of us are like Iyke; we find it hard forgiving ourselves. We hold on to self-guilt as though it was a mandate given to us. I letting go of Self-guilt isn’t an easy task but it sure has ugly consequences.
Iyke regretted his actions and to an extent, his case help saved other student from further harassment from Steve and Ben. But he was so filled with self-guilt that he find it hard forgiving himself because what happened was his inability to control his anger. This is just typical of a lot of us. Due to self-guilt, we find it hard to forgive ourselves. We feel as if God’s mercy is only imagery.
Let’s look at three effects of selfguilt.
SELF UNFORGIVINGNESS: Self-guilt is a perfect steroid for not forgiving yourself for the wrong you committed. You will often feel like you are the worst person on earth. You will feel you don’t deserve forgiveness rather, punishment. A very good example is Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Because of Self-guilt, Judas couldn’t forgive himself. Hence, he punished himself by hanging himself to death.
LOW SELF-ESTEEM: Self-guilt is also a steroid for low self-esteem. It makes an individual feel so inferior and worthless to the point of comparing oneself to others or even suggest the thought of committing suicide to you. It makes you burry the potentials in you because you will feel like, “you can never get anything right because you failed at three.”
DECLINE IN FELLOWSHIP: Self-guilt is another steroid for decline in fellowship with God. It makes you limit the power of God’s grace and mercy. It makes you think God’s love have limit due to mistake and sin you have committed. “Have you ever sinned and feel like you are too sinful to fellowship with God?” That’s it: Self-guilt.
I won’t pat you on the back and say; overcoming Self-guilt is easy. I have been there before. It’s often harder than it seems because anything that has to do with mind-shifting isn’t something that will happen unconsciously. It requires intentionality, consistency and grace.
Intentionality in the frame that, you are going to be conscious of the fact that you ain’t perfect hence, you will make mistakes. Hence, you will need to forgive yourself.
Consistency in the frame that, you have to constantly remember that God is always willing to forgive your wrong regardless of how awful you think it is.
Grace in the frame that, to be able to forgive yourself, build up yourself esteem and enjoy the usual fellowship with God, you need grace.
Here are 3 Steps to Overcoming Self-guilt
FORGIVE YOURSELF: Always remember that if you don’t forgive yourself, you are delaying your progress because you will hardly make progress when you are not at peace with yourself. Also, you endanger your health when you can’t forgive yourself. Hence, forgive yourself and make progress.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FELLOWSHIP AGAIN: If you believe he has forgiven you, then don’t feel awkward about going back to fellowship with him again. God will never make mockery of you because of your imperfections. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”