When God your Creator forgives you for whatever you might have done, it is to Him as if it never happened. That forgiveness is yours for the asking because Jesus Christ gave His life to pay the penalty for your actions.
Still, some of us have a hard time putting our past behind us. We remember things we have done. Each time we bring them back to memory, very often we find ourselves reliving the moment. We feel the emotions all over again. It feels as if the guilt of the past is back as strong as ever.
If your Father Creator can forgive you so completely and totally, you can forgive yourself. With the help of God’s Holy Spirit you can become a whole new person.
We tend to view ourselves as the sum total of all our actions with all the good and bad rolled together and weighed in the balance. Perhaps 40 percent good and 60 percent bad; maybe 50/50; maybe worse! Or maybe better. God does not see us that way.
Your Creator is interested in who you are right now, who you have become, and who you are becoming.
Let’s say you spent wasted years struggling with addiction, then one day you took hold of God’s forgiveness—you allowed the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to cover over your past sins and you welcomed Him to turn your life around through the power of the Holy Spirit, then over time you built a mindset and lifestyle of self-control.
God does not see an addict. He sees a spiritually matured person with self-control.
The struggles, failures and victories of your past served God’s purpose in bringing you to spiritual maturity. Other than that, they have no purpose or place in God’s thinking (Psalms 103:12 Psalms 103:12As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
American King James Version×).
Your memories will stay with you as long as you remain in this physical life. That’s how God has wired our brains. You can use your bad memories as a reminder of how much your walk with God has changed you, and as a caution to never go back. But don’t relive the guilt of the past as if it is still counted against you.
An example from God’s Word
The apostle Paul had lived his early life as a successful member of the religious authority structure. He had personally led the charge in hunting down, imprisoning and brutally executing the followers of Christ as heretics. While Paul was still doing this terrible stuff, Jesus confronted him and gave him the offer of a new life and forgiveness. To his credit, Paul accepted, but he had innocent blood on his hands. Paul’s past contained deep religious devotion, mixed with ungodly violence and hatred.
How did Paul mentally process the deeds of his past?
Read Philippians 3:13-14 Philippians 3:13-14 13 Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×. The past was the past. What mattered to Paul was the present and the future. He would always remember what he had once been. But Paul considered his terrible past as mere garbage to be thrown away in exchange for the promise of life everlasting in the family of God—a new life to be lived in the fullness of spiritual maturity based on the pattern set by Jesus (Philippians 3:7-8 Philippians 3:7-8 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
American King James Version×).
God, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, will forgive you for whatever you have done. He wants you to have the opportunity to change and have a new life. You should take Him up on His offer! Learn more about how to make this happen with our free Bible study aid Transforming Your Life.
Finally, if your Father Creator can forgive you so completely and totally, you can forgive yourself. With the help of God’s Holy Spirit you can become a whole new person. You can grow into the fullness of Christ. You can have a wonderful and glorious future of life everlasting in the family of God.