Forgetting What God Forgets

Reading Level: Leisurely

Guilt is a recurring struggle for many people. It is one of the most common search terms that people enter to read about on this site.

I’ve also read numerous blogs online by people who turned away from conventional religion due to spiritual leaders who erroneously bogged them down with a sense of guilt, making them feel that God is on a constant campaign to condemn their every thought, word, or action. In complete opposition to how many people were taught as children, guilt is a bondage that God our Father does NOT desire for us to live with. Scripture makes countless points to uphold this idea, but I’d like to focus today on one particular passage to get you started on releasing your guilt.

One of the leaders of the early church back in the first century A.D. was a man named Paul. He is considered by many to be the greatest apostle or leader of his day, having written a large part of what is now the New Testament. Yet, though some people tend to exalt him almost to deity, Paul was just a man with the exact same struggles and imperfections as any other human being. In Philippians 3, Paul talks about his past social status, education, and career–all the things about which a person could normally boast. Paul says he considers all this status nothing compared to actually knowing God. Next is the part important to one’s struggle with guilt. Paul admits something everyone overlooks, “Not that I have already been made perfect. But I am pressing on, striving to take hold of the prize for which I was taken hold of by Christ (Phil 3:12).”

This is key to freedom from guilt. Paul admits that he fails, but says he still presses forward to fulfill his God-given destiny.

He keeps pressing forward in life to fulfill the whole purpose for which God gave him life. In the releasing of your guilt, the first point then to apply to your own life is that it is okay to admit to yourself that you failed. Second, failure should never stop you from getting back up and focusing on your future and the purpose you have life.

The guidelines about what to do when faced with your own failures becomes more specific in verses 13,14. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward.” Notice Paul says, “But one thing I do…” In other words, it is a decisive action in his life to forget his failures. This is the third point to apply to your life-make a life-changing decision that from now on you will choose to forget your failures, releasing the guilt and condemnation, so you can press forward. Fourth, notice Paul says he is straining to reach the goal; there is intense effort to make progress toward your goals as opposed to wallowing in the guilt of failures.

Finally, realize God is not the source of your guilt or condemnation.

How do you properly (scripturally) deal with your failures? Do what God does! Choose to forget what God forgets! This is particularly apropos for those who struggle with guilt because they feel that God is the source of their condemnation. In the book of Hebrews (8:10-12 and 10:15-17), God tells us that, through the covenant that He has made with us by Jesus’ death on the cross, He will write the ways to live in our hearts and not remember our sins anymore. If God chooses to forget your failures and not hold them against you, then you, too, must release the guilt by choosing to forget past failures. Instead, look to the future that God had planned for you before you were ever born (Psa. 139:15,16); He in His foreknowledge was fully aware of all the failures you would make along the way yet He still believed you valuable enough to give life.

It is actually a mature perspective to live with a guilt-free view toward on your failures.

Paul says in verse 15, “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that, too, God will make clear to you.” It is the proper and mature thing to do–to forget your failures just like God does–and focus on His goals for your life. If someone thinks differently, if one thinks he must remember his failures and allow them to affect the present and future, Paul says, rather humorously, that you are wrong and God will make it plain to you to quit holding on to your guilt!

Let’s summarize the points on releasing guilt:

  1. It is okay to admit to yourself that you failed.
  2. Failure should never stop you from getting back up and focusing on your future and the purpose you have life.
  3. Make a decisive action that from now on you will forget your failures, releasing the guilt and condemnation, so you can press forward.
  4. Consistently put forth intense effort to progress toward your goals as opposed to wallowing in the guilt of failures.
  5. Realize God is not the source of your guilt or condemnation. He chooses to forget your failures.
<b>Print This</b> Print This
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Leave a Reply

*

For your reading pleasure, comment moderation is in use. Please submit your comment only once -- it will appear shortly.


Web Informer Button