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Coptic Orthodox Church
Letting Go and Forgetting the Past
How can we stop looking at the past and let go of guilt if we're constantly reminded of it?
*how to control feelings and emotions
edited March 2015
Hi there! I'm not exactly sure what your situation Is exactly. I saw this post, and thought I'd comment because I struggle with guilt and blaming myself a lot. But First thing is first, You need to forgive yourself for whatever it is that happened, because Christ forgave you. Focus on how much God loves you, how compassionate God is.
Remember how Christ looked with compassion with the woman caught in adultery, not condemnation. He loved and befriended the tax collectors, and sinners. Remember that nobody is perfect- we all sin and make mistakes, even the most "perfect" person has messed up.
Just look at King David- he loved God but fell into adultery/committed murder. But he truly repented and God accepted his repentance. If he would have beat himself up for making such a big mistake it would have hindered him from serving God in the future. Instead he let that experience humble him, and kept it as a reminder of how weak his human flesh is and how much he needed God so he wouldn't sin in that way again.
Fill yourself with Gods love, mercy, and compassion by immersing yourself in God's word ( helps you remember how great are Gods promises and to grow spiritually). Use this experience to learn from your mistakes. When Christ forgave the sinful woman he said "where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you? Neither do I condemn you. Go away and SIN NO MORE." And as St. Paul so eloquently put it, "There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, to those who are called according to His purpose."
So if you have confessed/repented of your sin, you have to forgive yourself- Christ died to remove that weight of condemnation and shame that we feel when we sin, and put that on himself when he died on the cross. If you don't forgive yourself- it's pretty much like saying that Christ's death was to no effect.
The devil will try to put lies in your head about yourself, that you're a horrible person, you'll never be forgiven, nobody will accept you after what you've done. And he will try to make it seem like you are the only one who has done something wrong too- but you have to identify these thoughts for what they are- lies. He is trying to make you forget what Christ has done for you and put you in a state of despair because he is afraid of what great things you will do for God as a result of truly believing in the love and power of Christ's redemption.
I wish you the best during this blessed time of Lent.
When you say that you are continuously reminded of your sins - who is reminding you of it? Other people, or yourself?
There's nothing wrong with not forgetting your sins, or your past. But there's a problem of living in guilt of your sins especially after you have repented for it.
After you have repented, there should be no more guilt. You cannot forget your past. What is done is done. David said: "My sins are ever before me".
God told the people of Israel to eat the passover meal with bitter herbs to remind them of their captivity in the land of Egypt. This is a reference or symbolism of being freed from sin. God doesn't want them to forget what their condition was like and what He freed them from.
You shouldn't forget your sins. The worst thing you could do is to forget your sins.
But if you feel guilty when remembering them, then there is a problem here.
It means 2 things:
a) You have not repented for it
b) You feel that repentance is not enough - which is a huge sin. It means that you don't believe that Christ is able to forgive your sins.
If others are reminding you of your sins, then tell them that you won't forget it.
In the Fraction to the Son, the priest talks extensively about his sins (our sins) and that remembrance of our sins should draw us closer to Christ.
I totally agree with Laura's post by the way. She said it very well. I'm just adding the fact that there's nothing wrong with remembering your sins in the 1st place.
So, let me give you an example: The worst times of my life is when I forget what I've done. I treat people who have done the same thing as if they are bad sinners, and I forget that I did the same as them. I forget my sins TOO easily at times and I act as if I'm a saint. Sure, God forgives me, and indeed, I don't repeat the sin, but it is not wise at all to go off and forget, lest you be consumed by pride, or that you do not accept someone who has also sinned like you.
Let's now assume that others are reminding you of your past:
I would honestly try my best to stay away from them. They have no right to do that; but you have to be confident in ONE thing: Repentance WASHES away your sins. As if you have never done it. So, your response to them has to boast about Christ's love and mercy that has washed your sins away.
Tell them this:
"WHAT GOD HAS MADE CLEAN, WHO ARE YOU TO CALL IT UNCLEAN?"
That's what st Peter said.
so much for your kind and reassuring words. My situation: Last year I began "talking" with someone who I shouldn't have been because I lost focus and who I was, number one--he's an atheist so I thought that I could possibly help and introduce him to Christ, however I was only proven that I'm not spirituality ready myself to do so and what upset(s) me most is that although I thank God that I maintained my distance I feel plain awful for not taking heed to my mother's warning to "not talk to him". I felt alone over the Summer bc I made sure to maintain my distance but I've been more bitter towards him in order to do so which is very unlike me and not a good example of a good Christain. In the end, he's very kind but I don't trust him much due to the fact that God isn't really in his life he may have good morals but he's suffered from depression and i tryed helping but I haven't brought religion in the picture, though he knows I don't want to be in a relationship bc a. Im not going to get married anytime soon. and b. I told him I'm orthodox and I need to focus on my priorities. The problem is maintaining my distance in a wise way to protect myself. I don't want to be rude and ignore him bc he is sensitive inside but if I'm myself (too kind at times) it will only lead to complications. That was my rant but once again thank you and God bless you guys as well during this Great Lent<3
I don't really understand what sin you actually did, or who is making you feel guilty of your past.
You don't seem to have a past.
The bible says "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." and I think I'm just trying to remove old feelings from my heart/mind in order to do so. Also, discernment was a concern and trusting that God's timing is always right.