«Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool» (Isaiah 1:18).
ONE OF THE WEAKEST LINKS in the chain of human commiseration is our inability to forgive ourselves and to recognize and accept God’s forgiveness. This ties us to feelings of guilt that can become obsessive and enslaving. Guilt is like a constant ringing in our consciousness, until we feel paralyzed, weak, and sick. To focus on the mistakes, we’ve made and to use them as a whip to inflict self-punishment is to question God’s love.
Remorse is another useless burden we carry. It simply «bites» us time after-time, inflicting hurt and making us feel too unworthy to enjoy life. Remorse endangers our health, to the extent that many physical and psychological illnesses are caused by our unwillingness to accept God’s forgiveness and to forgive ourselves.
I remember a woman who was burdened by guilt because she believed that the death of one of her children was her fault. It was sad to see her plunged into this pain without respite. Sadly, it seemed that there was nothing and no one who could liberate her from the wall-less prison of guilt where she voluntarily lived.
Many wrong decisions from the past can make us feel that we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness. However, it’s good to remember that we are forgiven because of the merits and grace of Christ. The Lord teaches us: «If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth isn’t in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness» (l John 1:8, 9).
Don’t let remorse and guilt caused by past mistakes become your «comfort zone,» where you feed your guilt by wallowing in your misery, perhaps with the hope of being pitied. God wants you to be free. Break the chains of remorse you voluntarily tie yourself with. Believe that He paid the price for your sin and your guilt. Believe that He saved you and is cleansing you from «all unrighteousness.» Believe that He will satisfy any need generated by your past (see T. D. Jakes, Woman, Thou Art Loosed).
Look at yourself through the Savior: eyes. He says to you, «Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new» (2 Corinthians 5:17).