1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
I have always been very analytical. That can be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing because I can over analyze a situation in a heartbeat if I am not careful. By the time something has taken place, I will have broken it down about 10 times and put it back together 20 different ways in my head. Now, that works if I am working or trying to solve a problem but it can become quite problematic when it comes to relationships. There have been times in my life where it has been just that. I’ve caused myself to think about things so much that it placed guilt on me because I began to harp on what I should have done in different situations. God wants us to be free. He wants us to be free in our minds, bodies, and spirits. As believers, one of the greatest ways we can is forgiveness; the forgiveness of others and of ourselves.
Over the years, I have allowed myself to hold on to regrets. Due to me being a person who always wants to be reflective and do what is right, this has occurred quite often. However, I have learned that the enemy will use the smallest thing to steal our joy or hinder us. He will use our care and concern. He will use our love and loyalty. He will use whatever he can to get us off of the path God has us on. Therefore, we have to learn how to move forward when unfavorable situations in our lives occur. Romans 8:1 says there is no more condemnation for us because Christ has set us free. This is one of my favorite scriptures to go to when I find myself in a place of guilt or shame. I have to remind myself that I am human and imperfect. I have to remind myself that Christ died for my mistakes and sins. Therefore, it is not my job to make myself pay for them over and over again. I don’t have to allow the weight of the things I’ve done to consume me. If I do, that pain is self-inflicted because Christ didn’t come to condemn me but to set me free. That means if we are experiencing guilt, regret, and shame it is coming from Satan himself because he is the accuser of the brethren.
I’ve also learned that if I ask for forgiveness and the person doesn’t grant it; that’s no longer on me. My responsibility is to ask with a sincere heart and commit to doing better moving forward. Then, it is out of my hands. Sometimes, people will try to project their guilt and shame unto you. If you are a feeler as I am, you will tend to carry the burdens of others on you which can become unhealthy. In times like these, you have to discern and recognize what is going on. Once you do, set guidelines for yourself and boundaries that will allow you to maintain your emotional health. Also, pray and ask the Spirit to show you those areas and guide you on how to steer clear of them.
The enemy wants us to remember our sin and mishaps constantly because he knows the destructive power that it has. In Jeremiah 31:34, we are told that when God forgives us, He remembers our sins no more. Therefore if He is the one whom we have transgressed against and He can forgive us, why can’t we forgive ourselves and move forward. Furthermore, when we reject the forgiveness of God, others, or even ourselves, we make room for spiritual traps such as pride. Proverbs 16:18 states that pride comes before destruction. When we become prideful and fail to forgive ourselves, we set ourselves up to fall and rob ourselves of the peace that comes along with true forgiveness. Not only do we steal our own peace but we rob those connected to us because we can make them targets for the hurt we are experiencing within ourselves. The longer we harbor those feelings and try to punish ourselves, the more likely we are to act out on others and hurt them.
Friends, it is so important for us to understand that we cannot take anything back that we have done or change anything bad that has happened to us. However, we can make a conscious effort to do better moving forward and live differently. Personally, I’m grateful that I have been able to release myself from the mistakes I have made. It has made me a better person and has allowed me to love the people around me in an even greater way. What the enemy meant for bad, God turned it around for my good. Where the enemy tried to tear me down and make his lies about me echo louder than God’s truth, the Lord has made His voice even louder. What have you not forgiven yourself for? What have you allowed others and the enemy to hold over your head? Beloved, there is so much more life for you to live on the other side of your mistake. When you forgive yourself, the enemy can no longer use those things against you. Will you be free and made whole today?