The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I have been a Christian for less than a year now and have struggled for most of my new life. I went through a phase in which I attempted to address past mistakes and in some cases tried to resolve them in some manner. My life before becoming a Christian was pretty dark. I was involved in homosexuality and other lustful sins. I'm only 16 and have lived such a wicked lifestyle. I have addressed some issues that I have done to my parents and my uncle because my conscience had been annoying me to do so and I felt it was God's will. Now my conscience seems to be urging me to talk to my aunt about things I did as a younger kid with her child. Things like this are so embrassing and I don't know when it will ever end. When will I finally be able to move on with my life and further my relationship with God? I'm sick of living in the past and I'm getting fustrated because at times I feel as if God is bullying me in some strange way. What should I do?


Answer

It is a mistake to confuse your feelings for God's directions. You can read the Bible from cover to cover and not find God directing people in what they should do through feelings. He tells us what we are to do in words that are clear and plain, written for us in the Scriptures.

Feelings of guilt are there to remind us not to repeat the sins of our past. They will always be there when we remember the foolish things we have done. But what should happen is that we look back thankful that we are not that person anymore. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). What proves you have changed is not the number of apologies that you can give for the past, which cannot be changed. You prove you changed by becoming a person who in the future would never do those things.

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14).

It is time to leave the past behind and start focusing on your future. Now if, because of your past, you find living righteously today a struggle, then you and I can sit down and talk about ways to disconnect those chains of sin. But meanwhile focus on where you are going and not where you came from.