Answers to your Questions…
Question: I know the Bible says that Jesus forgave all my sins when I received Him as my Savior, but I still feel horrible about some of the things I did before I was saved. What can I do?
Let it go! Remorse can be a real problem because it so easily leads to depression. It also often greatly hinders many Christians’ usefulness for the Lord, because they ask, “How could Jesus possibly use me or even forgive me when I can’t forgive myself?”
But where we have problems, Jesus has solutions—and in this case the two-part solution is simple. Part one: Ask for and receive Jesus’ forgiveness. He freely gives it to all who ask, whether you feel worthy or not! Part two: Ask those you wronged to forgive you, and make restitution, if possible (Matthew 5:23-24).
Part one was taken care of once and for all the instant you received Jesus as your Savior and asked Him to forgive all your sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Part two may be a bit harder and more humbling, but once done, what a weight of condemnation it will lift!
The Lord has already forgiven and forgotten (Jeremiah 31:34), so now you need to forgive yourself, put it behind you and get on with your new life in Jesus.
That’s what the Apostle Paul did—and if anyone ever had reason to feel remorseful, he did. Paul (born Saul) was present at the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:54-60; 8:1), and soon became a ringleader in the systematic persecution of Christians that followed (Acts 8:3; 9:1-4; 22:4-5). His actions were premeditated and brought great harm to many, but once Paul “saw the light” (Acts 9:3-6), he became a leader for the right cause and went on to do great things for the Lord.
What was his secret? “I am still not all I should be,” he once explained, “but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to Heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us” (Philippians 3:13-14 TLB). He had learned to let it go!
If you’re loaded down with a bundle of remorse, you’ll never get anywhere! Let it go—and you go on with the Lord!
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