First off I just want to say what a true blessing you and this magazine are to me! So thank you so much for your time and great words!
Lately it seems like I have a hard time letting go of the sins I have committed in the past. I know I have been forgiven due to asking God for forgiveness and basically saying that I am sorry, but I still think about things I have done, and it brings me to tears sometimes.
I re-dedicated my life to God a few months back. I have been visiting churches in my area (I recently moved from my home town so I have been praying that God will find me a church in my area). But it’s been hard, trying to back away from “worldly” things that are out there.
I was brought up in a Christian home. My grandfather is a preacher at the church I went to in my hometown, and at age twelve I was saved, by asking God into my heart and forgiving me as a sinner. When I graduated from high school and started college, I started going down the wrong path, and then I would feel guilty and ask for forgiveness. It wasn’t till a few months ago that I realized I needed to change and start putting God first in everything I do. I know that if we ask God to forgive us, we are forgiven but how do I shake this feeling of “why did I do that?”
I have been reading my Bible and I just got the book you recommended: The Way of the Master. Any advice you have would be great!!
Thanks for your email. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this column and CWO, and it’s good that you got The Way of the Master, because that’s the book I’d recommend reading.
I suspect you’ve never come to a place of Godly sorrow–I’m talking in tears, on your knees, over the sin in your life. It’s a place so deep inside of you, where you understand how offensive you’ve been toward God. Then understanding what He did for you on the cross and His grace.
I know you know “all the words” and what they mean, but I don’t know that you’ve been affected by it in your soul. It didn’t happen for me until after I read The Way of the Master. Maybe this will trigger it for you too, or maybe it will be something else.
In any case, once you’ve experienced Godly sorrow, you can come to a place of true repentance. Asking God to forgive you, and turning from your sin. See, it’s not just about feeling guilty over it and confessing it, but feeling so sorrowful that you don’t want to do it anymore. When you’ve asked for that forgiveness, it’s been given to you. There’s no reason to wallow in the guilt, that’s not going to do anything. You have to trust that once you’re forgiven, you’re forgiven.
“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” – Acts 13:38
Move on, and move into a right relationship with God. Dig into the Word to better know Him, and what He wants to do with your life.