Got Guilt?

forgiveness

The Bible says we can be forgiven through Jesus Christ. He redeemed us to love us and to love through us. All the guilt and shame of our past is removed it is over and gone.

Psalm 103 declares: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

 Your past has past. Let it go. God has forgiven you and you need to forgive yourself. Yet even though we know we have been forgiven guilt can keep us focused on past mistakes, poor choices and wrong decisions.

In his book Devotions for a Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas tells this story:

“A relationship from my teen years still makes me wince -whenever the girl’s name comes to mind and I think about the hurt I caused her. One day recently I was wondering and praying about looking her up to tell her how sorry I felt for how I acted twenty-five years ago. One of my best friends — a marriage and family therapist from San Diego — adamantly opposed the idea.

“Gary,” Steve said, “I’m thinking this is more about you than it is about her.”

In his counseling experience, Steve has discovered that looking up someone after two and a half decades can be dangerous; you don’t know where he or she is coming from or what’s happening in his or her life.The potential for hurt is just as great as the potential for healing. But the clincher came when he said, “Look, why don’t you take all the energy you’re using thinking about this and spend it on planning how you can love your wife today.” That’s when it dawned on me: Guilt attacks us by using a dead relationship to distract us from a living one. Some things in our past can’t be “fixed.” 

You can repent, you can ask for forgiveness; but you can’t always go back — nor should you try. Some of us are more introspective and hold on to our guilt in such a way that we become blinded to our present obligations. When guilt comes knocking on your door about a failed relationship from the past, start praying about how to love your spouse today.”

And I will add not only your spouse, but everyone in your life. Don’t let a dead relationship pollute or weigh down a living one. Forgive as you have been forgiven; love as you have been loved. Christ has set you free from the past so live and love in the present.

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