Sunday, January 27, 2013

Forgiving Ourselves


So many of us after becoming Christians don’t have the true peace we should have in our hearts. We carry around the guilt of things we have done in the past that concerns our family, friends, and most importantly God. Are we suppose to live in remembrance of our mistakes? Can we put the shame of the past to sleep and forgive ourselves?
I remember my first experience with shame and guilt at the age of seven; I had stolen two dollars out of my mother’s purse to buy cigarettes of all things. I bought four packs of Kool menthol because that was what my mother and father smoked.  Me and my little hooligan friends were so kool with our bad selves. We smoked all four packs that day. Oh, don’t worry we didn’t know how to inhale so there was no real harm done; it was the guilt of taking my mother’s last two dollars that caused the most damage to my innards.
After my friends and I had smoked ‘em’ up I went home and guess what my mother was doing; she was looking for the only two dollars she had to her name. She asked me if I knew where her money was. Of course I said no, that I didn’t know anything about it but all the while I was feeling terrible knowing my mother was searching so hard for that little bit of money. I carried that guilt around with me until I was ten years old and finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I told my mother what I had done. It had been such a long time I wasn’t really worried I would get into trouble but the guilt was eating me up; I had to tell her. Much to my surprise my mother didn’t remember that day her last little bit of money disappeared from her purse three years before. I found that hard to believe because I certainly hadn’t forgotten it. After my confession she forgave me and I was able to forgive myself.

Do you have things on your mind and heart that you wished you had never done and can’t seem to let it go even though you have asked God to forgive you? Why do you torture yourself? 1 John 1:9—If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If God forgives you then why can’t you forgive yourself? Mark 11:26—But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. This verse is talking about how we should forgive others or God won’t forgive us but it can also apply to forgiving ourselves. If we continue to feel guilt about things we have done in the past after asking for forgiveness from God, then in our hearts we really don’t believe that God has forgiven us and in effect we call Him a liar because we don’t trust what He says to us.

When we pray for forgiveness we are to believe that we are forgiven and if we truly believe His Word is true and that He has forgiven us then through that faith we must put our transgressions to rest i.e. let them go. Show God you know He means what He says and put those things away from your mind. Stealing a couple of dollars from my mother is very small in comparison to the things I done as a teen and in my twenties and I have felt a lot of guilt in my life time as many have and do but I now have peace in my heart and mind because the power of God’s forgiveness outweighs all those things. I have let those horrible things go and so can you. Concentrate on being thankful for the gift of forgiveness and the remorse for your transgressions will flee from you.
I must warn you, even though you put those things aside that doesn’t mean that on occasion they won't pop up in your mind. The devil likes to remind us of these things in hopes that we will dwell on them and again wallow in our sins conceding to depression or anger at ourselves. He knows that when we are thinking about those things we are not thinking of God’s love and grace that was bestowed on us through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus.  God gave His son so that we as undeserving sinners could have pardon for our transgressions through grace but we must have faith and believe that we are forgiven. It is then and only then that we can have true peace and joy in our hearts. Don’t keep your sins in remembrance: thank God for His forgiveness, forgive yourself, and let them go.

Ephesians 1:6-7—To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
May God Bless You Always!


colin said...

Letting go of the past is so very important. As you say we MUST take God at His Word.
Guilt is a such a dreadful feeling to have. To say sorry and repent of any wrong doing; truly is liberating. Though to many, 'Sorry is the hardest word'.
If only some would really believe such Scriptures as Jeremiah 31.34 and Hebrews 10.17 where God says 'I will remember their sin no more'.
Incredible really? God lets go, once we repent and have faith in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and choose to walk according to His ways.
The slate is wiped clean! It is as though we never sinned! What a wonderful God we serve!
Think of the wicked things king David did? And our God forgets all that?
Indeed He DOES!
Praise His Holy name!

Gail said...