For many years I walked around with a gloomy feeling in my heart. I woke up everyday with a heaviness and a emptiness all at the same time. No matter what I did I could not figure out what was causing it. I thought that maybe it was my current circumstances but that wasn’t it. I thought that maybe I was missing something in life, but that wasn’t it either. Finally, one day I woke up with the answer. It was like a slap in the face that made my head swirl around. I seen flashes of my past roll through my mind like the credits at the end of a movie. It was every moment from my past that I had a choice to make and chose to not do the thing that the Holy Spirit told me to do. The guilt that I had within me was so heavy that it took my breath. I had so much remorse tangled with regret.
As I cried out to God He gave me an understanding of how regret and guilt work and how the enemy uses them against us. When we do things that we know that we shouldn’t do it puts a little pin in our heart. Even the smallest things that we forget about soon after we do it. With each wrong choice another pin pierces our heart. Before we know it all those little pin holes become one big hole. That hole becomes the place where guilt and regret reside.
Guilt and regret are the enemies favorite things to come against us with. He knows that it doesn’t take very many thoughts of “you blew it this time, how could you do that, your a hypocrite, your not a good person” to make us start condemning ourselves and become riddled with guilt and regret. And nothing interferes with our relationship with God. It’s not that God backs away from us but we back away from God. We feel like we are no longer worthy of claiming His name. We feel like He is so disappointed and angry with us. We feel like we have blown our salvation. We feel like we are a real crappy person because we chose to follow our flesh instead of the mighty Spirit that has forgiven us of all our past sins.
But that mighty spirit has also forgave us for our present sins and will forgive us in our future sin as well. God knew that we were going to make the choices that we did. He knows about every choice that we will ever make. And yet He still chose you. He chose to forgive you when you first came to Him and each time that you mess up from that moment on. And He chooses to remember them no more and we have to do the same.
Everyone will make mistakes. We all will do things that we wish we would have not done different. We all will make a bad choice. But we do not have to be filled with guilt or regret because of it. We can not change what has already been done. But we can be forgiven and we can move forward free from guilt and regret. We can focus on our forgiveness and the grace that is offered to us so that we can make better choices in the future.
If you are filled with guilt and regret because of something that you have done to someone else then you first ask God to forgive you and then you can ask that person for forgiveness. But most importantly you have to forgive yourself. Unforgiveness of self is where the guilt comes in. While you can not make others forgive you, if you are sincerely sorry then it is not up to you to make them forgive you nor do you have to wait for their forgiveness before you can forgive yourself. God sees our heart. He sees us for who we really are and not for the actions of our nature. He knows how our humanity works and the weakness of our emotions. He knows that we can act before we think. He knows that we are weak against temptation. He knows all of our flaws and yet He does not have one ounce of regret for accepting us as His child. If you have guilt or regret stored up in your heart then it is time to let it go. Go to God and ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself. If you need to apologize to someone then do so but don’t rely on their forgiveness in order for you to forgive yourself. Put it all behind you and focus on moving ahead.