Last updated on September 22, 2020
In one of your answers that you posted on your Facebook page, you had stated that “When you sin, He forgives, but He doesn’t change the consequences of your sins.” What does this mean? Does this mean that even if someone repents after he or she, for example, sins by breaking one of the Ten (or Nine) Commandments, he or she would still get the death penalty?
I can kind of become paranoid at times because I keep thinking that I have not satisfied the Lord enough or I keep worrying that I am sinning or sinned (although I don’t know what) and did not repent and I will be judged upon that. I think there is a passage or are passages in the Holy Bible that say that one who worries about sin is cowardly or something like that, but I can’t help it. It’s like an irrational fear or something. What should I do? What can I do to calm myself down?
I don’t really know how to explain this, but sometimes my mood goes up and down. See, there was this one time when I, well, not became depressed, but I felt as if I wasted a day in my life doing nothing. But, about five minutes later, I realized that I had finished all of my homework and did all I needed to do for the day, so I don’t need to worry about that, but for some apparent reason (and I still can’t really find a reason why) I felt that way. I felt hopeless and that life was too short and I had wasted a day of my life. I don’t know, all of these up and down feelings are pretty weird for me to explain and even to just think back myself.
What I mean is that someone may commit a murder, be forgiven, but it won’t bring the victim back, nor will it keep him out of jail or even facing the death penalty. A person might steal at work. He can be forgiven, but he will not likely get his job back and most likely have a hard time getting another job. A guy committing a sexual sin can be forgiven, but that won’t stop pregnancy and the fact that he will have to financially support the child for the next 20 years.
All sins that are not repented of (changing your mind about doing the sin and changing your behavior) will ultimately lead to an eternal death penalty in hell. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). That is why sins have to be dealt with and the behavior corrected.
Guilt for doing wrong is a proper feeling. But guilt, when you don’t know you have done wrong, is an improper feeling. This is a good illustration of why you are not to use your feelings as a guide. Feelings can be wrong. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26). Walking wisely means following what God said, not what you feel you should do.
What often helps with irrational fear is to talk with a friend who understands. He can help you sort out what is reasonable and not reasonable. It is part of the reason why God said, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Cowardice is a sin (Revelation 21:8), but cowardice is not worrying about sin. It is when you are too timid to stand up for what is right.
Mood shifts are very common during adolescence. It will calm down again as you get close to adulthood. You do have to keep reminding yourself not to follow your moods, but do what you know is right — sometimes in spite of your current mood.