About the Author

Jennifer Thomas is the co-author (with Gary Chapman) of When Sorry Isn’t Enough. She's a keynote speaker and psychologist in private practice in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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  1. Jennifer,
    I am usually pretty gracious in forgiving others, but myself? That’s a different story. I believe the enemy knows that is my Achilles heal and he goes after it all the time with self condemnation. Romans 8:1 is a much used tool in my scripture emergency kit…”Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I believe that God would have me be more gentle and forgiving with myself and this verse is my steady reminder. I have learned much from your posts thus far!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. Yes, yes. This is what I have been learning this past year (among many other things): how to forgive myself, that I cannot forgive others (or even apologize, sometimes) unless I have forgiven myself.

    Along with that has come an ability to speak up when I have been wronged, to accept my own pain, and to start to try to be vulnerable and let people know when their words or actions have offended me–rather than assuming that it’s more Christian or loving to pretend that I cannot be hurt.

  3. I know I can’t change my past, and what hurts me most is how my actions have hurt my children, especially my daughter. I’ve been working on the issues for many years, and in real earnest for the past 5 years. Then I’m okay, then I start the downward spiral of me taking all the responsibility for my daughter’s issues and choices.

    Joanne

  4. Ive having an extremely hard time forgiving myself. I beat myself up hourly for my abortion. Im not ashamed to say I did it. I didnt want to. It was forced. I cant forgive myself for taking the life of someone who was innocent and only wanted love from me. Why didnt I fight harder? Why didnt I run out the door? Ive written here before and I hate to write books. But how do I forgive myself for murder?

    • Ty, Have you taken the study called “Forgiven and Set Free”? Or “Surrendering the Secret”? Both can be taken alone, or in a group. I’m not sure about “Forgiven…”, but “Surrendering the Secret” has a website where you can find a group meeting in your area. Very helpful bible studies and they both really make a strong and profound impact. You would learn more about forgiving yourself and though it sounds impossible, how to lose the weight of carrying this pain around with you 24/7. I took both; I can breath again, I’m ok with myself and that fateful decision. They were hard and painful studies, but I’m better for it.

      • Valerie, thank you for having shared your resource and wisdom with Ty. May the Lord bless you and others who carry this burden and who may need sweet reminders of His grace.

      • Thank you immensely Valerie for responding. I have reached out everywhere for help with this pain and Im met with a deafening silence everytime. No one will talk about this. Im like wow I have to suffer in silence. Im on week 7 of Forgiven and Set Free. I would love to do Surrender The Secret. I looked on Amazon its 200.00 I dont have that. I watch some footage on YouTube of it. Thank you Valerie. You dont know what it means for someone at least 1 to say something.

        • Ty,

          Prayers for you to forgive yourself and heal from the pain of past decisions. Know that God has forgiven you and He loves you more than ever.

          Blessings TY! 🙂

  5. Jennifer,

    In my experience, it is more difficult to forgive myself than others. My general mind-set has been very self-deprecating over the years, so the tendency to assume the blame for any regrets comes easily to me. It seems like this is a common problem, and I’m not sure whether it’s a function of our culture, or our gender…. but it’s certainly not how God wants us to live. We give shame and regret entirely too much power over us.

    It can just be so difficult to wrap our minds around the grace that can forgive us over and over again… despite everything. Despite ANYTHING! We cannot turn away enough times to deny Him. We need to remember that He DESIGNED love. He can love us in ways that we cannot imagine, or begin to understand.

    “You bear all the things that I have done… and all I’ve yet to do. Already placed upon Your son the blame and price of my salvation. You value me more than I comprehend… reassembling, daily, my whole… and you always, always endure me. Me.. and my mess of a soul.” [How to Love, (1 Cor 13), from http://thewordspoken.org/2013/08/16/how-to-love-1-cor-13%5D

  6. I feel like God sent me this message in response to how I have been feeling lately. I do ok for a while then it seems I can blame
    Myself for everything that’s wrong in my marriage, with my kids, and I start sinking…. Then God speaks to me in this way, sending me a message reminding me of His forgiveness and unconditional love. I don’t know of I will ever be able to grasp it!

  7. I beat myself up alot because of not learning to let things go. I rehatch and play it over and over in my mind. I do eventually release it to the Lord, or it will cause me to stagnate. I’m not sure if I solve it or just surpress it, or hope it goes away. But I have to trust God it will be Okay. In fact I kind of forgave myself today for messing things up, not completely things, letting people down, letting God down. It is such a load I feel pain sometimes. Is there a difference between letting thing go and forgiving myself? Thanks

  8. Velma, you’re not alone. I can’t stand it when people are mad at me and it’s very hard to get it out of my head. Good question about any difference between letting things go and forgiving yourself. I’d say that the latter brings greater closure and peace although either one beats continuing to criticize yourself, right? 🙂

  9. I find it hard to forgive myself for some past mistakes–even if they are minor. The devil just whispers stupid, dumb, idiot, not smart why even try anymore. It takes a lot of prayer and love from my hubby to get over these feelings of inadequacy!

  10. Dear Jennifer,

    thank you for your encouraging words. Maybe everyone knows that he is too hard to himself but it is hard to do what we still know!
    Most of my anxiety of never being enough, never loving enough, everyday being to unorganized or not to turn enough affection after work to my family comes from the wish deep inside me to be perfect to accept myself.
    Thank you for your words of truth. Write more of them!

    Rosie