It is a sad fact that many Christians are struggling with guilt from past sins in their lives which has already been forgiven. The truth is that they have not yet learned to absolve themselves. The question is how do we view sin? How we see sin will either free us through the wonderful forgiving power of God or bound us by the power of guilt sent by the Accuser, Satan.
I am sure if King David was alive he could give a seminar on the bitter root of guilt, the blessings of repentance and the power of God’s forgiveness as well as the power of self-forgiveness.
We know David sinned: he took another man’s wife; impregnated her and had her husband murdered to cover up his sins. It seems when David decided to sin he went all out! But the wonderful thing about God is that in Him hope remains.
When God sent Nathan to David to uncover his sins (2 Samuel 12) David cried out to God for forgiveness and a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within him – God did just that. He forgave his servant freely. David could have reacted in many ways, he could have carried a weight of guilt and shame; after all he killed a good man! BUT, he elected to trust in the God he knew to be bigger than anything, even his sin. He received God’s free forgiveness and forgave himself. Glory to God! David got his joy back, a clean heart, a right spirit and most of all his relationship with God was restored! David came out with a testimony! Hallelujah! Look what God can do if we only let Him.
Precious hearts when we become our own judge and jury, we condemn ourselves to a prison built of guilt, shame and unhappiness. This is not God’s will for His children. He wants us to have joy in our souls; peace in our minds and praise for Him in our hearts, testifying to the world of His love and compassion. Wasn’t it Jesus who asked the Father to forgive His murderers?
Luke 23:34 (NIV)
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Even as they taunted Him as he bled to death for them on the cross, Jesus interceded for their forgiveness! His murderers didn’t ask for forgiveness, He asked for them. What more will He forgive us our sins when we ask?
Let’s look at it this way, because God has commanded us in His word that we must forgive others their transgressions against us doesn’t it make sense that we must forgive ourselves? Forgiveness is Forgiveness. Dear hearts it’s time to pluck up the bitter roots of guilt, self-condemnation and shame, throw them out of our lives and leave them where God has cast them – that place we’ve come to know as the sea of forgetfulness.
Micah 7:19 (NIV)
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:19 that we should be rooted and grounded in love – not guilt. We must keep in remembrance that once God has filled us with his Holy Spirit he has washed, purged and cleansed us from every (not some) sin that we ever committed. It doesn’t matter how foul, vulgar, degrading, shameful or unspeakable we think they were God has no more remembrance of them. They do not exist to Him – they never happened. That’s how complete God’s mercy is! God wants us to see our past sins and misdeeds the same way – nonexistent. Let them go! Exchange that guilty conscience for the mercy you’ve been given. Walk into it right now! Believe what God says in His word, “I remember your sins no more.” All that remains for you to do is to say, “Thank you Jesus!”
Stop second-guessing God. We will never comprehend the immensity of God’s love for His children. It’s too deep, deeper than the sea. It goes far beyond human imagination or expression. All I can say is that there’s no one on earth who can love us like God. We can’t even love ourselves as much as He does. If we did forgiveness would be easy to accept and we’d live a guilt-free life.
I have two beautiful daughters whom I love more than anything in this life. Still, God’s love for them surpasses my own. Glory to God! That’s some kind of Love! Who can really explain it? When we can’t trust the love of the people who are in our lives for whatever reason, or someone has caused us to mistrust them, we can always trust in God’s love for us. It’s the greatest love of all. Haven’t you heard and seen it for yourselves? He loves us with an in-spite-of love, an everlasting love: it’s unfailing and always proves itself faithful even when we are faithless.
Dear hearts I know firsthand what bitter roots can do to you when they’re allowed to grow-up like vines in the heart. I was shrouded by the spirit of guilt for years and was unnecessarily tormented by my thoughts concerning myself. God had pardoned my sins but I kept myself in bondage. Bitter roots are poisonous if they’re not plucked up and thrown away. They will slowly kill you spiritually, sapping you of the abundant life God has promised. Learning to leave our past behind us and never picking it up again is the key to self-forgiveness.
Once we’re born again of the Spirit we become the inheritors of God’s characteristics; His Spiritual DNA is infused in us. We are molded and shaped by the Master’s hands and we slowly take on His image. In fact it takes a life time. No matter the time it takes to see His work complete God molds us thoroughly. God will perfect that which He has started and He started a good work in us!
Little becomes much in the hands of God. The impossibilities of man are the certainties of God.
Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
It was impossible for me to change the negative thought-pattern I‘d held all of my life. It took God to do that but I had to have a willing mind. Unless we’re willing to let the Lord change us and be patient with ourselves we will remain the same. Remember taking on His image takes a lifetime!
We have a God of great compassion, mercy and love. It’s been over 2000 years and He is still proving himself faithful. What more can He do to prove His love for us? What more can we ask of Him?
Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I pray that those of you who feel like I once did will make a conscious decision to walk into your forgiveness: embrace it and receive it as the treasure that it is!
Dear hearts we must learn to show the same kindness, patience and forgiveness to ourselves as we do to others. After all we are the children of the most High God and we are worth every drop of blood Jesus shed for us. I don’t care what our emotions tell us. Stop listening to them and start listening to what the Holy Spirit has to say unto His children.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)
“Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Isaiah 38:17 KJV