Sometimes we really mess up and feel bad for what we’ve done. Wondering if God will forgive you can weigh heavily on one’s heart. It’s an important question, and its answer has a huge impact on every individual’s life on earth and the more important, eternal one.
What is Guilt?
We all fall short of God’s perfect example and act selfishly. If it’s particularly hurtful to others or ourselves, we feel guilt about what we’ve done. And sometimes, that guilt turns to shame. We feel bad about ourselves, even dirty or unlovable.
Will God Forgive Me? Shame Tells Us No
Shame is one of the devil’s big weapons. It’s the language and the feelings he uses when he tries to convince you that you are bad and always will be bad. He wants you to think that you are worthless, unforgivable and beyond changing.
People who experience shame about themselves, rather than just remorse over their actions, are more likely to fall into the sinful behavior again. Psychology reinforces the negative effects of shame, too. According to a recent study, when guilt turns into shame, people are more likely to experience depression and anxiety disorders.
Shame makes us hide ourselves. And, in this darkness, we’re more likely to relapse. But forgiveness brings us into the light, where we’re accountable for what we’ve done and can receive the help we need to change. One of the reasons I wrote RECEIVE was because I believe manhood is a quest to receive your identity and live from it rather than for it. When you receive what God says about your identity, and yes, his forgiveness, you’re able to find your purpose, to become secure in who you are as a man/husband/dad/leader. You can live in a responsible way that makes a positive impact and live for God rather than yourself or others.
Forgive is Available and Free!
The first thing to do is acknowledge your wrongdoings. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When you pray to God, confess and ask for forgiveness, He will purify your soul.
His Forgiveness is More Powerful Than Any Sin
God’s forgiveness is a huge reassurance for us as believers. Just like humans, human forgiveness is not perfect. We often let previous “forgiven” wrongdoings fester and tear down our relationships over time.
You might ask, “Will God forgive me but think differently of me?” But God gives you a clean slate and nothing could change his unconditional love. He takes away your sins forever. As Psalms 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
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Why God’s Forgiveness is Important in Your Life
God doesn’t just forgive us. He sent down his son, Jesus, who sacrificed Himself for our sins. By believing in Him, God grants you salvation. What does that mean? That means we get to spend the rest of eternity with a perfect God even though we are imperfect. It means that a perfectly just God is also merciful. It means that God forgives you and wants to have a relationship with you, no matter what you have done.
It can be really helpful to have a close friend or two to help you through these feelings of guilt. Overcome your fear of being judged or falling short. If they are true friends, they will share their own shortcomings with you to lighten your burden and help you from falling into shame. They will keep you accountable and help you receive the transformative power of God’s forgiveness in your life.
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