When I was younger I did a lot more things that were unwise. In one particular instance, my friend and I decided to build a campfire in the woods. It wasn’t long before it was bigger than we could handle. We didn’t want to tell our parents what we had done so we avoided them and tried to get help from my friend’s brother. The water hose wouldn’t reach and we eventually had to tell my friend’s mom who called the fire department. That night, I felt bad and was afraid of my dad finding out. Because of my guilty conscience, I avoided being around him. I don’t even remember what he did when he found out. I just remember trying to not cross paths with him because of what i had done.
That same guilty conscience has a way of showing up in my spiritual life too. When I sin or mess up, i act like Adam and Eve. I try to hide from God. I avoid my prayer time because I’m embarrassed. Even though I’ve asked for forgiveness, there’s a period of time where I allow my shame to keep myself out of His presence. I know I’m not the only one who does this. We all do to some extent. We somehow think our failures and sins disqualify us from being children of God, even after we’ve repented. Even though God has forgiven them and forgotten them, somehow we can’t.
I find hope in 1 John 3:20. It says, “Whenever our hearts make us feel guilty and remind us of our failures, we know that God is much greater and more merciful than our conscience, and he knows everything there is to know about us” (TPT). God knows everything about us including our thoughts…and He still loves us and calls us His children. If you struggle with this like i do, it’s time to forgive yourself because God already has. You are still His child and worthy of being in His presence. Don’t diminish the work Jesus did on the cross by thinking your sin is somehow stronger than the blood He shed. It’s time to Forgive yourself. God isn’t looking for perfection from you. He understands your human condition and loves you no matter what you’ve done. Find your freedom today and get back in His presence.