Psalm 38:4 and 18 “My guilt overwhelms me —it is a burden too heavy to bear…. 18 But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.” New Living Translation
In a recent sermon, the pastor said that when we practice, sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it wrong, but we get better. I thought of a few particular times in my life when I “got it wrong”—very wrong. I had caused hurt to others that I felt greatly sorry about and wished I could go back and make right. Of course I can’t, and I’ve often let Satan beat me up with those memories.
Now Romans 8:1 says that there’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (body). I used to think, Well, but when I get it wrong, I’m not walking by the Spirit. When I did those things I regret so much, I was just acting out of my own self-centeredness, not because of following Jesus. But, if practice means that sometimes I get it wrong, and sometimes I get it right, but I’m getting better, then I’m learning by practice. So there’s no condemnation when I mess up, even really blow it, because I’m in Christ Jesus, and I’m practicing living in accordance with Holy Spirit direction. I’m not saying that I don’t need to ask for forgiveness for my wrong-doing—I do. However, I don’t have to let guilt kick me around anymore.
I’m still sad about those things I did that caused damage, but I can learn from them. I can keep on practicing following Jesus. What a relief!
Lord Jesus, when memories come back to me I’ll bring each one to You.
–Where there is sin, let me turn from it.
–If there’s a lesson, I want to learn it.
–When it drives me closer to You, then I yearn for it.
–If You speak a word to me through it, may I discern it!
And by Your grace I’ll take Your yoke on me and learn of You and find rest for my soul. (Matthew 11:29)