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Don't Let the Past Haunt You (19 of 21)
Series: The Promise of a Sound Mind
1 John 3:20-22
20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
One bad choice can lead to a lifetime of regret. Sometimes the regret we feel is a string of poor decisions or a character flaw that continues to haunt us.
When we recognize our failure, it's hard not to feel guilt. But guilt is a terrible motivator.
Guilt tends to drive us farther from our goal of success, not toward it. When we have feelings of guilt, our natural reaction is to withdraw. It might be to withdraw from people, withdraw from the Lord, or withdraw from life. Guilt can create a fear of failure, knowing each failure will create more guilt. It can become a perpetual loop.
Guilt does not have to remain in our lives. In fact, it shouldn't be a part of the Christian life. Guilt must be dealt with by either facing our past, facing our weaknesses, or facing our irrational feelings.
God forgives, but guilt does not. When we know our feelings are irrational, we must learn to deal with them in healthy ways. This falls into the practice of taking every thought captive, which we covered previously. Once we identify guilt as an unjustified feeling, we must make the effort to cast it out of our mind.
Feelings are fickle. Sometimes there is no reason to feel badly, but our heart may still condemn us. This is not something out of the ordinary. That is why the Apostle John addressed it. There are times our heart will condemn us and the only real solution is to believe that God is greater than our heart. By faith, we cast guilt's power aside. God is greater than unstable emotions, which attempt to drive us into a fleshly-minded way of thinking.
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