How Can I Be Forgiven for My Past?
by: Lisa Robertson
I get it! I really do. If anyone knows what it feels like to wake up one day and realize that you’ve blown it so badly that you can’t see how you could ever feel good about yourself in the future, that’s me.
To be honest, that thought dogged me for a lot longer than I wanted it to. It was with me at night when I went to bed, would wake me in the middle of the night, and followed me all day long.
Someone who doesn’t know God might say that the solution to overwhelming and lingering guilt can only be found in seeing a professional counselor. And to be sure, counselors can help us think past our past and into the future.
In my case, my counselor was a godly woman who taught me to seek relief in the blood of Jesus. She taught me to go to God and ask for the grace to give grace to the one who hurt me most. She taught me to go before the cross of Christ and lay my guilt there — to realize that the very reason he died was to free me from the penalty and the burden of guilt.
I have good news for you! If you are struggling with the question of how you can get past your guilty feelings, I would like to point you in the direction of the man I’ve been following for a long time now. This man, Jesus, doesn’t just “have” the answer — he “is” the answer.
The truth is, all of us have a common problem — we are vile sinners — every last one of us. And the bad news is that there is nothing we can do about it, about getting our records expunged. Not on our own. We are guilty of sin, we were objects of wrath, and we would have remained guilty if someone greater than us hadn’t done something about it (Ephesians 2).
That’s where Jesus comes in. The Bible says that even though he was equal with God, he gave up his place with God and took on human flesh. He lived amongst us and was tempted like us, yet he didn’t give in — not once (Philippians 2, Hebrews 4:15). And because he challenged the establishment’s line of thinking that told mankind that the solution to our sin problem was to get right with God by doing better, by obeying the law, they killed him.
The really good news is that when Jesus died, the sins of those who believe in him and love him were also nailed to the cross. All of them. When he died, and when we believe that his sacrifice is enough, the Bible says that God separates us from our sins “as far as the east is from the west.” In my humble opinion, you can’t be any further from your rap sheet than that.
So in answer to the question, what do I do about my past guilt? Here’s what I recommend to everyone — get to know my friend Jesus. If I’m right about him, then trusting in him for what he did for you instead of fretting over what you cannot do for yourself is the best way to deal with your guilt. In fact, it’s the only way I know of to really get rid of it.
I understand that all of us have a past that has left a trail of hurt and sorrow, but if Jesus is who he claims to be and who I believe him to be, then healing is just around the corner for anyone who wants to pursue him as Savior and Lord. Trust me on this — God has no interest in heaping guilt on you. That comes from someone else, straight from the evil mind of Satan. No, my God’s in the guilt-removing business.