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Stop beating yourself up over something you've been forgiven

I’m feeling a bit of deja vu coming on. I remember writing a column a few years back of me opening my mouth and yelling something at one of my son’s baseball games, which resulted in an open-mouth-insert-foot moment. Well, it happened again.
We were at my son Grady’s All-Star game. Now it needs to be understood that he has a bad habit of trying out different bats instead of using the same bat every time. We have talked about it and told him to pick a bat and stick with it because he can hit much better that way.
Anyhow, he was up to bat and using a bat that was too big for him. I was upset that he was doing what we have specifically told him not to do. After one pitch it was clear it was too big as he was late with his swing and needed to choke up, so I decided to yell for him to do just that.
However, there were two problems when I yelled. First, the whole crowd seemed to get extremely quiet at just that exact moment. Second, my yell came out a lot louder than I wanted. And meaner I might add. It sounded like this angry psycho woman growling at her son, “Choke up!”
Right after I yelled, Grady looked up at me with a look on his face that said, “Mom means business.” My husband looked over and whispered, “Take it easy.” People looked over at me with a look of “what has gotten into her?”
I was mortified. I wasn’t intending to turn into psycho mama bear but just a nice mom trying to help her son out. As soon as the words left my mouth and the scenario played out in front of me, the devil used the opportunity to start beating me up. It’s like he was using my head as a punching bag: left hook and then right hook.
Insult upon insult, condemning word upon condemning word came swirling through my mind. How could I do such a thing? What would people think? That old way of feeling like I had to hang my head and grovel in the dirt to compensate for my sin came flooding back. For awhile I didn’t want to look anyone in the eyes out of embarrassment and shame. The devil was winning the fight and had me on the ropes, ready to deliver the knockout punch.
Now some of you may think I am being overly dramatic, but this is not exaggerating how I was feeling. I have always been one to beat myself up when I mess up or allow the devil to do it for me, and I was back on that old path again. But not for long.
"Wait a minute," I thought to myself. "What did Jesus die for? He died over 2 thousand years ago for me to be forgiven. I am the righteousness of God in Christ, not because I am perfect or righteous on my own, but because he is perfect and righteous and I have received him as my Savior. He doesn’t want me focusing on my sin but focusing on the cross and the payment he made for my sin."
Does that mean I want to go around yelling like a crazy lady again because I am forgiven? Of course not. He wants forgiveness to be on my conscience, not my sin. Focusing on being forgiven puts my mind right where God wants it to be: on his son. Renewing my mind to what Jesus did for me took me out of that pit of shame and condemnation and allowed me to walk in the forgiveness he purchased for me.
Hebrews 9:12-14 states, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood he entered the most holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
What about you? Maybe your sin has been made public like mine for many eyes to see. Or perhaps it is behind closed doors where no one else knows but you and God. Either way, are you beating yourself up over it, living in shame and guilt? Or have you let go of your mistake and received the forgiveness Jesus bought for you with his own blood?
His grace is sufficient to cover your sin, no matter how dark, dirty and disgusting it may be. Receive his forgiveness and allow him to lead you out of the darkness and into his wonderful light.
Amber can be reached at amberdeemiller32@gmail.com">amberdeemiller32@gmail.com or through her AmberRiceMiller Facebook page.

Published: July 13, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170719977