Cap's Corner: Forgetting guilt; moving forward with Christ

by Cap McIlnay

One of the greatest struggles for many Christians – myself included – is letting go of past mistakes, decisions, and sins. How often do we fall back into our guilt and shame? And for what good? Maybe it is human nature, but that is not what God wants for us. So, why do we do this?

The rearview mirror is most often used to check what is behind us as we drive a car. Yes, we sometimes use it when we are going in reverse, but I don’t want to talk about going backwards when I am talking about our Christian journey.

In the dimension of time, we can only experience life in moving forward. As of yet, we have not found out a way to travel back in time. Our life is always moving forward and never backwards. However, we often get stuck looking in the rearview mirror at our past mistakes. Sometimes, we need to look back. In a self-reflective way, it can be both educational and therapeutic. At times, we truly do need to wallow in the pain of our mistakes for a time, but we need to be careful not to do this for too long. DO NOT LET THAT BECOME A PART OF YOUR IDENTITY! That is the trap that Satan would love to capture you in.

Even Paul addressed this in his letter to the Philippian church. In Philippians 3:13-14, we read: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Now, in Paul’s day, they did not have rearview mirrors or windshields. But if they had, I think Paul would have said it here. The reason why we stop and get stuck looking back at our sins is because we feel guilt. But this is not from God! Once you have asked for forgiveness and God has forgiven you, there is no longer a reason to feel guilt or shame, and I DO NOT CARE WHAT THAT SIN IS! The Blood of Christ is powerful enough to cleanse you no matter what you have said, no matter what you have thought, and no matter what you have done.

Furthermore, the Blood of Christ is not a cleanser that works only once per sin. I think this is where we get “hung up” too often. We think that there is a limit on God’s forgiveness for repeated sins. Again, this is Satan’s interpretation of the Word of God, and not that of the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe that God is all-powerful? Do you believe that God is all-knowing? I hope all of you said “Yes” to these two questions.

God is all-knowing. He knows everything about you – He knew it even before you were born. That is what it means to be all-knowing, right? So, He knows everything about you, and that means everything. It doesn’t mean He knows everything about you until you reach a certain age. It means he knows every discussion you will ever make, every word you will say, and every action that you will ever take for all of your life. This is what the term “all-knowing” means.

God knows everything about you. And at some point in your life, you will ask God for forgiveness. We know that God has the power to forgive because He is also all-powerful. He will forgive us no matter what our sins are, right? And, He knows about all of our sins: those in our past, present, and future. So how do we not know that God does not forgive us of all of our sins right then and there? All of our sins during all of our lives!

A sobering thought, no doubt. Does that mean we no longer have to ask for forgiveness for those sins in the future? Of course not. But God is all knowing. He knows when you repent at every point in your life. Knowing this, is it not possible that when God forgives us, at whatever point in life we ask, He will forgive all of our sins? Remember: when God forgives, He forgets as if the sin never happened. In the future, when we ask for forgiveness, God is scratching His head and saying, “Okay, but for the life of me, I don’t know what you are talking about!”

The rearview mirror is a map of where you have been, but it does not dictate or determine where you are going. We are not the sums of our sins, but instead we are the sons and daughters of our Father God, our heavenly Papa. It is not our sin that makes us who we are, but it is the Love of our God that makes us who we are: HIS CHILDREN, AND DO NOT FORGET IT!