Resisting the Replay

by Patti Smith – Regional Coordinator for San Diego, CA

We are all sinners; we are human, after all. Turning back the hands of time to reverse our words or actions is impossible.  All we can do is make amends and ask for forgiveness.  That’s all well and good; however, how many times do we receive forgiveness from God and others yet still wallow in guilt by recounting the transgressions in our minds?  Why is it so easy to give forgiveness than to accept?

Being an overachiever in the mistake department, I struggled with that acceptance for many years.  Why?  Because I could not forgive myself.  No matter how hard I tried to move on, I continued to browbeat myself unmercifully … avoiding, out of shame, the person(s) harmed and isolating from God … feeling unworthy to be in His presence.

Now, whenever tempted to dwell on past transgressions, I play a little mind game.  I picture Satan with a DVD of my failings.  He’s cackling and sneering while continually hitting the replay button …  an evil attempt to imprison me in guilt and remorse, separating me from loved ones and distancing me from God.  Seeing that image puts everything in perspective and puts a smile on my face. I’m able to laugh and say,  “You’re playing a blank disk, Satan … God already hit the delete button.”

 Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide.
I said, “I confess my transgression to the LORD,” and you
 took away the guilt of my sin.
(Psalm 32:5)

For more of Patti’s writings, visit her blog.

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