Friday, 28 December 2012

Forgivness, Sin and Guilt

I have done a few things in my life which I have lived to regret, who hasn't?  Often I didn't know I was doing things that were stupid or hurtful till after, or later and, because I am the sort of person who wants people to like me and doesn't like to hurt other people's feelings I am left racked with guilt.   In response to knowing I have done something wrong, as well as asking for forgiveness from the person I have wronged (if this is the reason for the guilt) I ask God for forgiveness, being raised in a Christian home, it is what I have been taught to do and it's what the Bible tells you to do:

1 John 1:19
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

What I know is that I AM  forgiven by God, but I continue to beat myself up about the things I have done, I continue to feel bad about them.  For a long time I have been wondering what has gone wrong, if God has forgiven me why do I continue to feel bad, didn't the forgiveness's work? Why doesn't God take away the guilt?  

Then in a sermon the minister talked about how forgiveness is a gift that we have to accept from God and it struck me, I am not accepting God's gift of forgiveness, I don't accept that what he did was enough, I feel like I have to continue to feel bad about things in order to redeem myself for what I did wrong.  How ungrateful is that?  Jesus was horribly murdered in order to pay for my sins, receiving the punishment I deserved and yet I feel like I can somehow repay my debt by feeling bad about it!?
In the same sermon the minister referred to this Bible verse:
Philipians 4:6-7

Interestingly I had pinned this same verse just the week before (Has God been trying to tell me something?)
So then it occurred to me, yes I am forgiven, but by not accepting the forgiveness completely and still feeling bad I am continuing to sin, it is a different sin to the original one but it is a sin nonetheless.  So I realised in order to feel forgiven I need to continuously give these feelings of guilt and shame to God.  Every time they come to mind I pass them on to Him, just like in one of my favourite hymns:

 What a friend we have in Jesus, 
 all our sins and griefs to bear! 
 What a privilege to carry 
 everything to God in prayer! 
 O what peace we often forfeit,
 O what needless pain we bear, 
 all because we do not carry 
 everything to God in prayer. 

 Have we trials and temptations? 
 Is there trouble anywhere? 
 We should never be discouraged; 
 take it to the Lord in prayer. 
 Can we find a friend so faithful 
 who will all our sorrows share? 
 Jesus knows our every weakness; 
 take it to the Lord in prayer. 

        Are we weak and heavy laden, 
 cumbered with a load of care? 
 Precious Savior, still our refuge; 
 take it to the Lord in prayer. 
 Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? 
 Take it to the Lord in prayer! 
 In his arms he'll take and shield thee; 
 thou wilt find a solace there.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.


  1. I so love that hymn i havent sung it for many years but my roots are in the methodist chapel Grandad was caretaker and organ blower !! and Grannie cleaned the chapel for a good 50 years Thankyou for sharing xxxxxxxxxx

  2. I am so glad it brought back good memories.


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