This is something I still struggle with myself even though I understand the truth of it logically. No matter how much you sin and fail God, he still loves you and can forgive you. The hard part for me is actually forgiving myself even knowing God has done that for me.
Something I have always struggled to have is joy in the Lord. In many ways, I actually lost any joy that I had because I became entirely aware of how evil I actually am. I don't think this is something only I struggle with, I am sure many of us do and there isn't an easy solution to it. I was someone who genuinely thought he was a moral person until Hannah finally told me everything I needed to know about God and completely destroyed the illusion I had created for myself. I had actually taken a lot of pride in knowing that, compared to most people, I was pretty great, so when I lost it I never really recovered from it. I live constantly aware that even as I improve I am nowhere near where I need to be and it is like a crushing weight constantly on my head that I can't seem to get rid of.
The solution should be pretty simple, pray and trust what the bible says about it. God loves us so much that no matter what we do we can be forgiven for it. That includes our past, present, and future sins, without any exceptions, all paid for with Jesus's blood on the cross. This, for most people, seems to be an amazing comfort that no matter what they do God will forgive them and welcome them in Heaven. For me and anyone like me though, it doesn't have the same effect. I am completely aware that God is able to forgive me for anything I do, but my need to be a genuinely good person means that I hate myself any time I mess up even remotely. I am not generally afraid of going to Hell, I know Jesus is with me and that I will be forgiven for anything I do, but the hardest thing for me is to forgive myself. I hold on to everything I ever did in the past which is, unfortunately, a very long list. Despite being able to easily forgive other people for the exact same things, I find it almost impossible to forgive myself for anything no matter how minor it was. I feel nothing but shame and despite trying I have not actually managed to stop thinking this way.
I am wrong to think this way. The reality is that Jesus died for our sins so that we wouldn't dwell the way I do. Jesus doesn't want us to dwell on the past, he wants us to dwell on him and the things we can do with him. We have been washed clean of our guilt by his actions and it is wrong to hold on to something that should be long gone. It is not an easy thing but we all need to learn to forgive ourselves, because no one should have to carry the weight of this much sin. Jesus did it for us when he took up his cross and if you are like me and struggling day after day with depression, you know exactly how heavy the weight of our sin is. We should never become the sorts of people that just don't care and do whatever we want even if it is sinful, but we also shouldn't dwell so hard we destroy ourselves.
Learn from your failures and do all in your power not to sin. Pray to God if you fail and do all in your power to never stumble again. He will be at your side helping you even if you don't know it. Don't hate yourself because you are a new creation and Jesus loves you even with all of your flaws. Jesus died on the cross knowing exactly how evil we are and he thinks we are worth saving, we should accept that truth and just learn to be grateful for everything Jesus did for us. It won't be easy, I know I have been trying for a long time, but learning to love yourself as God does is the path we all have to take if we really want to find joy in God.
Dedicated to making strong disciples of Christ.
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