20 Ways You May Be Trying to Punish Yourself for Your Failures


20 things you may be doing in an attempt to punish yourself for your failures instead of believing in Christ’s punishment for your sins

Inside the heart of every person is the awareness of failure. That awareness lays heavy on the soul.  Like a question that begs for an answer, failure begs for some kind of resolve. Someone must pay for what’s been done.  If others hurt us, we want them to be punished.  If we fail, we want to punish ourselves.  God sent His Son Jesus Christ so that we could be free from that weight, guilt, and the need to punish ourselves.  Receiving that level of freedom and forgiveness is humbling; so humbling that we resist it.  We find it easier on the soul to punish ourselves instead of believing that the full punishment for our sin was taken by Jesus Christ.  

But He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that His suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment He suffered, made whole by the blows He received.   Isaiah 53:4-5

1.  Putting myself down: “I can’t do anything right.” “I’m a loser.” “I’m such a ____________________.”

2.  Not allowing myself to draw close to God until I first feel miserable enough, broken enough, sorry enough, etc.

3.  Making myself endure harsh self-discipline, pain, cutting, etc. because of my sins or weaknesses.

4.  Over-exercising.

5.  Replaying my past failures, weaknesses, and faults in my mind and listening to a commentary of failure played over them.

6.  Agreeing with accusations about my sinfulness and inability to be loved, clean, and forgiven.

7.  Thinking I am incapable of being loved, accepted, forgiven, and made righteous.

8.  Forcing myself to be involved in spiritual activities as a way of disciplining or punishing myself.

9.  Saying and believing, “I cannot forgive myself.”

10.  Continually beating myself up over my lack of discipline, lack of righteousness, lack of giving, or lack of love for God.

11.  Saying negative things about myself to others to further punish myself.

12.  Believing negative things that others say about me instead of what God says about who I am because of Christ.

13.  Refusing to let myself be loved, at peace, have joy because I don’t feel deserving enough.

14.  Choosing to remain under guilt, anger, resentment, and  discouragement because it is what I deserve.

15.  Isolating myself from others because I don’t feel worthy enough to be comfortable with them, accepted by them, or happy.

16.  Treating myself harshly through overeating, alcohol, drugs, smoking, abuse, etc.

17.  Not believing God looks at me with eyes of grace, love, mercy, and acceptance.

18.  Not believing God has forgiven every one of my sins and makes me blameless.

19.  Not believing I am made as righteous as Christ by faith and apart from my efforts.

20.  Not coming confidently to God’s throne of grace because I feel I don’t deserve it.


The list is one of two presented at a recent service of Encounter Church.  For an audio message related to the list, click here.


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2 responses to “20 Ways You May Be Trying to Punish Yourself for Your Failures

  1. Pingback: 20 Things You May Be Doing in an Attempt to Make Yourself More Pleasing to God | The Grace Revolution·

  2. Pingback: 4 Voices That Keep You Addicted | The Grace Revolution·

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