Learn To Forgive Yourself
If you're reading this, God has forgiven you for every mistake you've ever made. We must learn to do the same, if we desire to become the person that God wants us to be. This can be a difficult task, but this has to be accomplished in order to live our lives more abundantly. During a recent sermon, my pastor (William Curtis) encouraged us to stop giving power to the irrelevant. There's no relevance in replaying your regrets. Why should we waste time dwelling on the things God already forgave us for? The Amplified Version of 1 John 1:9 tells us “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].” It doesn't make sense to stay imprisoned to your sins when God said you're free to go. Your rear view mirror is smaller than your driver's mirror for a reason. We have to remain focused on what's ahead of us instead of looking at what's behind us. It becomes difficult to move forward if we're constantly looking back. As I mentioned in a previous blog (Faithfully Focused) paying attention to the wrong things can cost you a blessing or opportunity.
You Are NOT Your Mistakes
When we believe that we are the mistakes we made, forgiving ourselves becomes extremely difficult. We have to eliminate this mindset, and realize that our mistakes don't make us. God's grace means that you're better than your last mistake. You may feel that you've let God down in the past, but we serve a forgiving God that has an amazing future for us despite our shortcomings. The Amplified Version of Romans 8:28 states the following: “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” God forgives us because our mistakes are already included in his plan. We are going to have shortcomings as we strive to become a better person, and God is aware of this. So one may propose the question: Why does God allow us to make mistakes when he already knows our destiny? It's proof that a perfect God can use an imperfect person to accomplish great things. How can we say with great confidence that God can work all things together for our good if we've never seen him do it? The verse doesn't imply or say all things "good". It says ALL THINGS, meaning all things good or bad. God has the ability to turn a loss into a lesson and a failure into a blessing, and we're a prime example of this!
Be Better Not Bitter
This is the reason our mistakes should make us better instead of bitter. When it comes to God's plan for our life, mistakes aren't shortcomings. They are learning tools. I struggled with this a few years ago in my last relationship. I was constantly reminded of every mistake I made, and it made me bitter. Initially I was upset, and felt ashamed because I had to accept the mistakes that I made. As I grew closer to God, I realized that I didn't need to feel this way. God already forgave me, and his grace meant that I'm better than the mistakes I made. He gave me a second chance because he knew I was capable of doing better. You will see reminders of your past, or be reminded of your past. Instead of being bitter or feeling ashamed, respond this way: "I'm better than that, and I'm better because of it". Learn from your mistakes and take advantage of the new opportunities that God has blessed you with. Don't dwell on what you did wrong in your last relationship, move on and be better in your next one. Even if you haven't been the best spouse in your current relationship, declare that you're going to be a better boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife throughout the rest of the relationship or marriage. Just because you got bad grades in your first attempt at college doesn't mean you can't try again and graduate. Consistently consuming alcohol in the past doesn't disqualify you from becoming sober. People will laugh, point and talk about what you used to be, but you have to remember that's what you USED TO BE! You are no longer that person. You are a brand new and better person. The Good News Bible Translation of Revelation 21: 4-5 states the following: "He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” Then the one who sits on the throne said, “And now I make all things new!” He also said to me, “Write this, because these words are true and can be
trusted.” There's no need to grieve or endure pain from your past mistakes. Those things have disappeared and everything is brand new, including you! Let go of who you were, and become who God wants you to be!