I chose wrong. Like completely wrong. Like six months of, "I probably shouldn't have done that..." followed by another six months of, "Hun. What exactly are you doing?" Never did I ever "curse God and die" (Job 2:9), but there were several moments of introspection where I had to ask myself if I was still a Christian.
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:" (1 John 1:6).
I will admit to some good ole fashion wrong. I knew it was wrong, and I half apologized when I was done, because I fully anticipated returning to said wrong. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15).
So I asked God for forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) I asked God to help me and strengthen me as I rebuilt my relationship with Him. But I still felt shame. I still felt regret. I found it harder to pray, because how could God forgive me when I willfully and consistently disobeyed Him? When I did pray, I found myself with similar sentiments found in Lamentations 1:20: "Behold, O Lord; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death."
I found myself feeling unworthy, because I knew better.
Desperately, in my search of the scriptures God comforted and reminded me that He still loved me. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) That He knew who I would be before I was born and made provisions for me. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5) That in fact, the only thing separating me from Him was my sin and because I asked for forgiveness the only thing keeping me from feeling His love was gone. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38, 39.
The biggest issue I have faced in my walk with Christ has been forgiving myself the way God forgives me. The moment we confess our faults to the Father, the moment we ask forgiveness, we are immediately forgiven. So always in these instances it takes us longer to forgive ourselves after God has already set us free. We bind our own progress by harboring unforgiveness and resentment toward ourselves. For whatever reason, we find it easier to wallow than to walk away. We of the Pentecostal faith do not believe in penance. There is nothing we can do to earn God's love. There is nothing we can do that will wash away our sins. God sent Jesus to the cross before we were even born to pay the debt for any sin we could even think to commit.
Are we more just than God?
After we repent the only thing that God asks of us is to continue to love Him. He wants us to deepen our relationship with Him so that we don't end up here again. God doesn't want or need for us to continue to carry around guilt for things He has already forgotten. All He requires of us is our love and as a demonstration of our love, our obedience.
There is no easy way to let go of guilt. There is no shortcut to forgiving yourself. The only way to know if you can do it, is to do it. You have to trust that God has given you the strength and the courage to do what He has already done.
Forgive yourself, so that you can live freely.
Relieve yourself of this self-deprecating burden. Right now. You can do it! Think about whatever it is that you think that you've done that is unforgiveable. If you haven't already ask God for forgiveness. Thank Him for His mercy and His grace that allows you to be forgiven. Give it completely over to God.
Every time that thing tries to creep back into your consciousness, you tell it, "I am forgiven"
Everytime you feel guilt or shame trying to over take you, remind yourself, "I am forgiven"
Remember life and death is in the power of your tongue. (Proverbs 18:21"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.")
Speak God ordained life, love and forgiveness in your life. Not because you deserve it, but because God desires it so.
Take a moment and declare yourself forgiven in the comments below.