There are a few things that happened with my kids that I can’t get over. I have asked their forgiveness and they verbally gave it, but it nags at me. I suppose I haven’t forgiven myself.
RC Sproul has a book that is FREE on ligonier.org about guilt. It took me 30 minutes to read it.
In my daily reading, I was reading Isaiah 1, and it provided me a clue:
Why do you continue to invite punishment?
Must you rebel forever?
Your head is injured,
and your heart is sick.
6 You are battered from head to foot—
covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—
without any soothing ointments or bandages.
7 Your country lies in ruins,
and your towns are burned.
Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes
and destroy everything they see.
8 Beautiful Jerusalem* stands abandoned
like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard,
like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest,
like a helpless city under siege.
See, here was Israel living outside of the city God built for them. A beautiful city abandoned. The people weren’t cast out, they chose to live outside of the city because of their rebellion. It doesn’t appear God even sent them out. I could be wrong.
Whether he sent them, or they sent themselves, they could have gone back merely by repenting of their sins. Once they were restored, God would never think on their sins again.
So, that leaves me wondering, why won’t I let go of my guilt? RC Sproul says to confess it and accept the forgiveness God offers.
In the “Practice of the Presence of God,’ by Brother Lawrence, he says “God I shall never do otherwise if you leave me to myself; it is you who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss.” And here is the important part: “after this he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.”
Hannah Whitehall Smith from the Christians Secret to a Happy Life,says something similar: “I desire to make this subject so plain that no one need have further difficulty about it.”
I often read authors from over 50 years ago who have this attitude. You go to the cross. You leave it there, and you trouble yourself about it no further.
It would be nice if my children and others would forgive me. But their forgiveness pales in comparison to the forgiveness my Heavenly Father gives me. And I remind myself that we will be in heaven one day, and it is my belief that all wrongs shall be set right.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Is 1:5–8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.