You may be in a rut right now that you can’t see your way out of. There may be a particular sin that is working a number on you at this moment that you are embarrassed to think about. Our natural reaction to something that is weighing heavy on us is to fret and stew over it until it becomes more of a burden than it should be. We let it consume our thoughts and we lay awake at night thinking about the mistake that is forever etched in the history of our lives.
Well, I say to forget it!
In our current day and age where our time is stretched thin, we can’t let what we have done wrong take up too much of that time. God has great plans in your future that you can’t focus on if you are only looking at the past. Scripture tells us that we are not perfect, to not focus on what lies behind, and to strain forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:12-14) When we let our mistakes control our thoughts, we can’t focus them on God and what He has in store for us.
Our mistakes aren’t more than God can handle. We know from reading the Bible that God forgives sins, but it’s often times easier for us to think God forgives other people’s sins; just not ours. As if we have stumbled across that one sin that God just won’t allow, or that because we continue to make mistakes even after asking God for forgiveness for that last stupid thing we did, that God’s grown tired of us. King David committed adultery with another man’s wife and sent him away to be killed, and he is called a man after God’s own heart. (2 Samuel 11) He still did great things for God after making those terrible mistakes. Hear me clearly: God is bigger than your sin! If you let what you have done keep you from God, you are not living under the grace He gives to us. (Romans 6:14) We are human, and we are going to make mistakes for the rest of our lives. If we don’t live in the freedom God gives us, we walk around feeling condemned and can’t truly experience the love of God.
So maybe we aren’t technically “forgetting” about our sins, since I’m not saying to forget our past in the sense of not learning from it. God uses things that happen to us to teach us how we can be more like Christ. When you are behind a slow driver on the way to work, God may use that experience to teach you patience that day. When you are struggling financially, you may learn to trust God and His provision. He doesn’t do things to teach us a lesson or punish us, but sometimes He suspends His help so we can grow from our experiences and seek Him in prayer. So while we learn from the mistakes that we make, we don’t dwell on them and let them separate us from God’s loving grace.
We think a lot of times that when we slip up that we lose standing with God. Our righteousness is secured by Christ’s sacrifice though! (1 Peter 2:24) If we ask God to forgive us of our sin and strive daily to abstain from it, we can be allowed to draw closer to Him because of the cross. We don’t have to walk around with a storm cloud over our head because we let our flesh get the better of us in a weak moment. Your debt has been paid for it, pick up, move on, and learn how to prevent that from happening again.
Scripture is clear that we will stand before God and answer for our sins one day. (2 Corinthians 5:10) While it is good to keep that in mind to help us refrain from sin, it doesn’t change what we have sinned because we perpetually worry about it. Sin is still a big deal and separates us from God, but fretting over something we have done doesn’t bring us any closer to Him or any further from sin. Cast your troubles at the foot of the cross and live in the grace and mercy that God gives us freely the way He intended us to live. By not doing so, we are cheapening the price paid by Jesus Christ on the cross.
It is in our weakness that God’s power is displayed through us. We don’t sin to make God display His mercy and grace, but He is there to pick us back up when we fall. As 2 Corinthians 12:9 says,
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Don’t let the feeling that your mistakes are weighing on you keep you from walking with Him in His grace. God is ready and willing to forgive you for them. Ask His forgiveness, learn from what happened, try to stay away from doing that again, and move on. Lean on Him to help you get through it and keep you from it. I can promise you that He is capable, and that His love is enough to forgive you for whatever you have done.
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