In order for us to be forgiven, we must learn to forgive others. In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), we learn that sometimes even when you are repentant that others may not be ready to forgive you. Some people are self-righteous and will judge you for your past, failing to see the changes you made in your life.
The prodigal son had a brother that was not ready to forgive him. He thought himself to be perfect (Luke 15:29), but he was really just self-righteous. Sometimes people will judge you for your riotous past, don’t let it bother you. The fact the brother was so full of pride of his own goodness, he failed to see his own corruptness. Many people are the same way today. They claim to live a sinless life, but according to Romans 3:23, we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Don’t worry about the doubters, because the change in your life is for you, not them.
Let the story of the prodigal son be a lesson that forgiveness is not for the other person, forgiveness is for you. Too many times we are worried about the sins of others, causing us to lose focus on our own wretchedness. If we focus more on ourselves and the mistakes we make, we can then learn to forgive others, knowing no one is perfect.
If you want God’s forgiveness, you must first learning to forgive yourself for your mistakes. Until you can forgive you, then you can’t move forward and forgive anyone else. Then, once we get to the point of forgiving ourselves, then we can began the healing and forgive someone else. Forgiving others is the a step closer to getting God’s forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15). If you can’t forgive others, then God can’t forgive you. Remember, forgiveness starts with you!