Guilt and bad memories can send us into a tailspin. Confusion and anger over either one can add to the turmoil. Its human nature to find yourself repeating patterns. Doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different outcome doesn't work. You can find yourself believing that trying again is just not worth it. No one has the power to condemn us the way we can. We are so good at it. What should you do when you find yourself in guilt mode?
1 John 1:9 ESV
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
What does that mean?
Step 1 - Ask for forgiveness
Ask God to forgive you. How do you do that? Simple. You ask.
Dear God, please forgive me for (insert thing/action here). I am sorry for (insert thing/action here). Please give me the ability to (change, or let go, or forgive another, or yourself, or....) and the wisdom, strength, and faith to become the person you want me to be. Thank You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Forgiveness means that once we have asked God to forgive us, what happens next? God forgives and forgets it! The Bible tells us in Micah 7:19 that God throws our forgiven sins to the bottom of the ocean, Hebrews 8:12 and Hebrews 10:17 says that God will remember them NO MORE.
Step 2 - Cleanse us of all unrighteousness (guilt)
Cleansing means to wash away, remove, take it away. If God can forgive us AND forget AND remove what we did (or didn't do), why can't we? What's holding us back? WE are! Forgiving ourselves is hard. How do you find a way to forgiving yourself?
First and foremost realize (believe) that if you've ask for forgiveness it's already been forgiven and forgotten by God. What if that sense of guilt, that memory is still there? Ask God what is holding you back from letting it go? Ask God if there is a particular thing for you to look at? Something that you missed? Something that you can't see? Something that needs to be revealed? If there is, talk to Him about it. Clear the air. Ask for forgiveness and ask God to help you 'put it in the deepest part of the ocean' of your memory where it won't plague and harass you anymore. John 3: 16-17 says that God send His Son, Jesus, to save us, not to condemn us. Jesus doesn't want us holding on to useless guilt. It has no purpose. Guilt over something that is forgiven is useless guilt. The only use it has is to steal your joy, kill your purpose and destroy your self esteem. Our forgiveness begins when we confess to God. When or if you find yourself stuck with letting go, you can (should) also ask for others to pray with you and/or for you (James 5:17).
The key: Give it to God and let it go. If you find yourself picking it back up, give it to God again and let go again. And again and again as needed. It can take time and effort on your part, but it will be worthwhile in the end. If you continue to have trouble, a tool you might find useful is a God Box. Designate a box, drawer, envelope; whatever private spot you want to hold the things you give to God. Each time you give something to God, you write it on a piece of paper and put it in the box. If you find that you've picked that thing back up again you have to go through your box, find it, take it back out and begin the process over again. Eventually it will stay in the box. That is when it's called an answered prayer.
Give it to God and let it go.
Step away and let it go.
Let it go and let God.
Let it Go