The new you… putting regret to rest
“God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.” (Romans 5:16)
While we are talking about barriers to being what God has created us to be, we should really talk about one of the big ones.
So many of us have moments, in our past, when the darkest part of us became our prominent feature. Whether it is an action, or an addiction, or an argument, or a crime – we all have some things that we really wish we could go back and undo.
Though we may have received God’s forgiveness for these things, they continue to haunt us. Yes. We really did do that horrible thing – that makes us ashamed to even think about it. And our shame makes it so hard to leave it behind us.
Sometimes the things that we find that God so graciously forgives are the very same things that do not allow us to forgive ourselves.
But, here is the thing… God is the ultimate Judge, and if He has declared your terrible things, forgiven… who are we to continue to prosecute ourselves? Sure, we may have some (demonic) help in this whole process – but, in the end, we are the ones who have to choose to determine who we really are.
God’s work, through Jesus, on our behalf, has made us completely new. That old stuff has been fully punished, your debt fully paid. And what God, Himself, has paid – we have no right to continue to try and pay again… and again… and again. That is the amazing message of His grace towards us. We certainly didn’t earn or deserve such treatment (especially after those horrible things we did) but God chose to accept Christ’s payment on our behalf. HIS payment was fully sufficient for our crimes, our selfishness, our horrid actions…
It is really hard for us to consider ourselves to BE what God says we ARE, if we continue to fill our present, with past regrets. (And… there is no future in it!)
Here is the truth: everything you messed up, everything you did wrong (no matter how horrible) was tied to the old you. And God’s provision for us is the FACT that the old you is dead (died with Jesus; was buried with Jesus; Romans 6!). God’s provision did not stop there… He gave you a new you to BE, for the rest of your life. According to the Great Judge… the old is gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17) – leave the past in the past… and live by the new you (Phil. 3:13)!
That is why the Bible tells us, triumphantly, that: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1) If God refuses to condemn us for our past (and He certainly knows what we have done) – then why would we contradict Him by holding on to what He has so lovingly taken from us?
Regret can paralyze even the best of our intentions. It can prevent us from walking in the fullness of God’s provision for us. According to God, we are not only free from our sin – we are completely free from our past!
Prayer focus: God, help me to forgive my past and forget what lies behind me so I can live in the fullness of what you have done for me.