Many times, the pain that we drag into new situations is the pain of failure from the past. If you are feeling guilty or ashamed of things that you have done, you can have difficulty going into new relationships or situations because you feel “bad” or “unworthy.”
To tackle life with gusto, we have to be free from guilt and shame associated with previous failures and shortcomings. Leaving our baggage behind means that we have to know we are totally accepted, forgiven, and loved.
That kind of forgiveness and love is the kind of love that God has for all of us. All we have to do is ask for it and receive it. He promises that he will totally forgive us for anything and everything that we’ve ever done, no matter how bad we might feel it is. He will take all of our failures and totally erase the record:
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:1 1—12).
All we have to do is ask:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
To be cleansed and set free from the guilt and shame of your past, just ask. God will make a way to a new start. He will wipe the slate totally clean and not remember your mistakes ever again (Hebrews 8:12). You can have a totally fresh start.
The entire story of the Bible is about the fresh start that Jesus accomplished for everyone who wants it. He took all our guilt and shame upon himself. As a result, we can all be totally free from all guilt and condemnation (Romans 8:1). All we have to do is accept his payment for us, and we can be forgiven.
The past can lose its grip on you, but not if you continue to deny it. It loses its grip when you confess it to God and then is forgiven. Then your past can be truly gone. You can leave your baggage behind.
So if you feel bad about anything, ask God to take it from you. He has made a way for all of us to start over, and he does so each and every day. All we have to do, whenever we fall, is ask. His forgiveness and grace are always there, always giving another chance for whoever asks.