Updated: Feb 2
The past has a way of lingering.
Especially when it comes to past regrets.
It’ll sneak up when we least expect it, and it brings with it its pal shame.
It feels haunting how it can hit us anytime, anywhere, even when we are doing something fun, or enjoying our life.
The past has a way of stealing from the present, too.
Especially when we are constantly remembering what happened and beating ourselves up for it.
Here’s the hard truth:
Most of us (all of us) have done some bad things in our life.
We’ve lied, cheated, gossiped, and hurt people.
If we have any sort of moral compass and conviction, these things should create some tension in us.
Our regrets should make us think, “I don’t want to do that to someone again.”
We can actually use our regrets to be better people and move forward.
But what ends up happening is we get to a place where we aren’t using our past to grow, but to keep shaming ourself.
Our past makes us feel unworthy and unclean.
It makes us feel like we don’t deserve anything good.. so when good things come into our life, we push them away.
Then we feel even worse.
It’s truly an awful cycle of shame.
Do you realize that no matter how hard you are on yourself, you can’t change what happen?
You’ll never “punish” yourself enough to make what happened go away.
And God absolutely does not ask you to do that, friend.
You need to take responsibility for what you did, and you may need to apologize or make amends in certain situations.
But nowhere in His word does He say, “beat yourself up.”
Or, “make sure you get yours after what you did.”
Or, “you don’t deserve good things because you did bad things.”
You have to understand that when we repent from our past, we are forgiven.
And we need to ask once.
Just because we are feeling shame does not mean we aren’t forgiven.
Forgiveness isn’t about our feelings.
It’s about what Jesus did on the cross.
Of course we don’t deserve it, that’s why it’s the greatest gift we will ever, ever receive.
Your past no longer defines you.
You can actually do more good in the world if you accept the forgiveness and grace from your past, and move forward.
Because shame only keeps us spiraling.
It keeps us from God’s plans.
So if you want to be different in your future than you were in your past, believe God that you’ve been made new.
Accept His gift.
Stop beating yourself up for your past.
That’s simply not who you are anymore.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog