Many of us are weighed down by regrets from the past and the longer we stay chained to these regrets, the harder it is to break free from them. We lose our freedom in Christ because holding onto past regrets links us up to self-condemnation and self- hatred.
The Bible says that in Christ we are freed from all condemnation (Romans 8:1) and there is also no separation from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). We must learn to love ourselves in the same way God loves us.
The longer we hold on to this chain and refuse to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and failures, the heavier the chain becomes.
So how do we free ourselves from these chains that weigh so heavily upon us, that they almost take our breath away at times?
It starts by accepting the fact that we all make mistakes. It is part of being human. And then forgiving ourselves if needed. If we don’t, it will inevitably lead to condemnation.
Lana Vawser, a prophet and teacher, says it’s a process of letting go, of repenting of self-condemnation, self-hatred and “holding onto unforgiveness.”
The Psalmist writes:
“He heals the wounds of every shattered heart.” (Psalm 142:3)
God wants to heal the places of regret, pain and trauma in our lives. But that process starts with us. Are we willing to let go, drop the chain, and forgive ourselves for our past mistakes and failures as God has forgiven us?
Let’s lighten our load and allow the Holy Spirit to move us forward unhindered and unshackled by our regrets. The Bible says to repent (Greek) which means “a transformative change of heart, change of mind, making a decision to turn around, to face a new direction.”
The pathway to being successful is by our willingness to make mistakes, and then more importantly by our refusal to let our mistakes hang on to us when we make them. We need to shake them off and move on.
Michael Jordan said that he made becoming successful look too easy. Many believe that his success just happened because he was so gifted, but Jordan says this wasn’t true. He says it was his mistakes, failures and rejection along the way that helped shape him as he chose to use them to become better instead of allowing his past failures and even rejection weigh him down.
We have a misguided perception that our worthiness and acceptance comes from our achievements and what we do. But, this is wrong. It comes from knowing that we can have a fresh start and start over any time we choose because it’s all in our hands.
It is our choice! We can use forgiveness and compassion towards ourselves as the key to unlocking the chains of self-hatred and condemnation. Learning to accept and even embrace our mistakes and failures will enable us to step forward unhindered into the future.
It’s never too late to start over.
So snap that chain in half, by choosing to forgive yourself, and throwing it away. Hear the chains clank and fall behind you as you step forward into your future.
13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13 NASV)