What do all of the following have in common? Chocolate, video tapes, cookies, alcohol, over eating and starving oneself. These can all become compulsive avenues for how someone attempts to handle their guilty feelings.
When Jesus died on the cross, he made it possible for us to be fully cleansed and brought into fellowship with God. But unfortunately, certain people feel so guilty about their past that they do not let go of it even though God has forgiven them.
I remember a young man who upon stepping out of the baptistery said, “God has forgiven me. Now I need to forgive myself.” He was right.
Failure to forgive oneself provides Satan with a powerful tool for his destructive purposes. Although God would have the Christian focus upon living the new life He has made possible, Satan can use the burden of past guilt to drag a soul through the mire. Energy and thoughts which should be expended upon gratitude and service can be sucked up into an ever descending spiral of self-condemnation.
When scripture tells us to forgive as God has forgiven (Ephesians 4:29), this principle includes forgiving ourselves. Listen to how God liberates His people, “I will remember their sons no more” (Hebrews 8:12). God wants His people to know they are free from the burden of sin and to live free of past guilt. Christians have no reason for lamenting over past failures. Christ’s blood is more powerful than our past sins.
Let’s not allow Satan to use something against you which God has taken away and remembers no more. It is great when a cookie can just be a cookie, and not an ineffective and destructive way to handle feelings of self-condemnation.