Hey ya’ll! I’m back! Since I have last posted, one thing that has been heavy on my heart has been forgiveness. Not just us forgiving someone that has wronged us in one way or another, but forgiving ourselves after we do something that we know wasn’t pleasing to God.
As believers, many of us understand spiritually what it means to be forgiven. We know that Christ died for our sins. By placing our faith in Him, we are saved into an eternal relationship with God that never changes. Even though we may still sin after becoming saved, we know that when we turn to God with a repentant heart, confessing our sin to Him, He washes our sin away. First John says when we confess our sin, God “is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
Sometimes we feel unable to find that place of reconciliation with God. No matter how often we confess our sins, and after doing all that we can to attempt at repaying for our wrongdoings, we still feel as if we cannot be forgiven. We continue to carry the burden of our guilt with us each day, being weighed down by a feeling of permanent distance in our relationship with God.
It is possible to come into salvation accepting Christ’s forgiveness and still struggle with regret from past mistakes. Many of us believers have difficulty moving forward in our faith because of shame. However, just because we may feel a certain way, doesn’t mean that God is holding us hostage to our past. If sin has been confessed, repented of, and forgiven, it is time to move on. Remember that we who have come to Christ have been made new creatures in Him. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). — Of which I have tatted on my side lol.
Part of the “old” which has gone is the remembrance of past sins and the guilt they produced. Sadly, some of us are prone to wallowing in memories of things we’ve done, memories which should have been dead and buried long ago. This is pointless and runs counter to the victorious life God wants for us. A wise saying is “If God has saved you out of a sewer, don’t dive back in and swim around.”
The truth is that our sin is no worse (and no better) than anyone else’s in world. All sin is evil in the His sight. Yet Christ’s grace, through His death is sufficient. It is more than enough, many, many times over, to cover all the wrong we’ve ever done and will ever do. No sin is beyond God’s forgiveness.
By saying or showing that we cannot forgive ourselves, we elevate our judgment above the Lord’s. We think that we know better than He does; He is quick to forgive, but we are not so simple. What right do we have to hang onto something God has released? Do we think He doesn’t know every detail of every sin? Are we wiser than He is? If He has forgotten it, why would we think that it is ok to hold on to it?
When you are struggling with regret and shame, it’s very important to immediately open up God’s word for direction. God isn’t condemning you, He wants you to be free. The devil is the accuser, loves to make us feel like we are unworthy and he will attempt to stunt your growth in Christ with regret. Meditate on Ephesians 2:8 which says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.”, and memorize it until it becomes your immediate response to thoughts of guilt. It’s time for us to move on towards walking in faith and not regret. There’s no other way to get into Heaven except by His grace. You’ll never be good enough, and you can’t buy your way in. It’s a free gift from God.
Another thing we need to do is exchange our perfectionism for God’s peace. Perfectionism destroys peace. We are going to fail a lot in life (and, I’m not giving excuse to repeated sin). But you don’t have to worry about it if you’ve received God’s grace in forgiveness of those sins. In fact, the Bible states this one particular failure to be concerned about: “Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15).
Receive His grace, forgiveness and peace now, then relax and keep it moving!