I Just Can't Forgive Myself

John Koedyker

READ : Matthew 26:69-75

In front of our church we have a new sign. Twice a week we change the message written on it. Hopefully, we catch the eye of the people who pass by with a pithy thought-provoking saying. Today our sign says, “Can you forgive yourself? God can!”

If you are like me, you have often heard people say, “I just can’t forgive myself.” Usually they say this when they have done something that has caused someone else great damage or even loss of life. Most often it is an accident something that was unintentional. Sometimes, however, with a little bit of carelessness, the accident perhaps could have been avoided. At times like these we hear people berating themselves for what they have done.

Certainly the apostle Peter had similar thoughts. No, he hadn’tcaused anyone bodily injury, but to Peter it was just as bad. He had denied even knowing Jesus and felt so bad that he “went out and wept bitterly.” Judas must have felt the same way when he saw Jesus hanging on the cross. He must have thought, “How can I forgive myself for sending Jesus to the cross?” He couldn’t. So devastated by all that had taken place, Judas committed suicide.

Peter, however, does forgive himself. Why? Because he realizes that Christ had forgiven him. We need to do the same.


Lord, help us to forgive ourselves as You have forgiven us. In our Savior’s Name we pray. Amen.