I have led such a sinful life, I've really messed up, I can't seem to accept God has forgiven me

(37 Posts)
cuppa Wed 13-Jan-10 08:43:37

I keep thinking back over my life. I have sinned so much. As a young child I used to shop lift, I stole from my mum, I had sex at 16, I have slept (for all the wrong reasons, too scared to say no) with so many people, i have done so many ba things, I have taken drugs, I have been practically an alocoholic, the list just goes on. I am negative, often bith and moan, think unkindly of other people, am impatient and bad tempered with my cchildren, fail to show them a good example. I so want to change my life, but it feels too late, I have done so much wrong.

I have wondered far from the church, yet a lot of the sins I detail above I actually did go to church, yet still did so many bad things.

I regret so much my life and how I've lived it, stumbling from one really bad sin to another.

I want to be close to God so much, but have always felt outside, I have never felt close to HIm, or felt the love and joy that other people clearly do.

I have done so much wrong, even when I'm told Jesus came to save us, and he forgives sns, I just think, yes, but look at all the things I've done. look how weak and faithless I am. I lack discipline and even when I say I will plray every day, or read the bible or whatever, I start off and after so many days, weeks months I drift again.

Then I think lack of hope, dispair and lack of faith are also wrong.

I feel sure to go to hell, I have done too much wrong. I have failed myself and God so badly. I don't have a relationship with him.

serenity Wed 13-Jan-10 08:50:13

You need to forgive yourself, and accept the things you've done and move on from them before you'll believe that anyone else will forgive you (I can't speak from the spiritual sense here as I'm an atheist, but couldn't ignore your post sad)

Have you spoken to anyone? Friend, therapist, priest?

nickschick Wed 13-Jan-10 08:55:19

Im sure someone more knowledgable than me will be around soon - but i didnt want to leave your post unanswered.

Im not a religious nut or anything but I believe God is a forgiving loving God when we are ready to accept him in our lives he comes and helps us redeem ourselves,by seeing the 'wrongs' of your life you are already on the way of putting things right,we each tread a different path and there are far worse than you.

I think sometimes when you feel as low as you clearly do then the only way is up ....try and write an action list of things you can accomplish that day-forget about your past come to terms with the present first,a wasted life is a life not lived.

Maybe you would find solace attending a church service? if you are a catholic confession is a good place to start even if your not a catholic priest would listen to you and help you.

I hope Im helping you I know that even in the depths of deepest despair God is with us all - we just have to let him in.

Scootergrrrl Wed 13-Jan-10 08:59:41

I read a book called The Shack which might be helpful for you. If you think of God as a forgiving and loving parent, it makes it a little easier to move towards acceptance of anything you feel you have done wrong.
If one of your children behaved in a way you didn't like, you'd still love and support them, not judge them.
I'm sorry this is such a bad explanation - not much sleep last night - but if you think the book would help you, I happily send you my copy to read. Have faith - God loves you.

TeamEdward Wed 13-Jan-10 09:07:42

God loves you. He made you, He knows you, He knows everything you have ever done. But Jesus has paid your debts, he has wiped your slate clean.
It's called a free gift, and it's called Grace;
G od's
R iches
A t
C hrist's
E xpense

gypsymummy Wed 13-Jan-10 09:16:50

though i am not of your Christian faith i feel very inclined asa human of faith to reply and support you. If you had a child who was very "bad" and did all sorts of horrid things then one day came running back to your arms crying and repenting would you send your child away or take him close to you? God, Allah whatever we choose to call him is ever so Merciful and He created us so HE knows us more than we do ourselves. And yet I believe it is healthy to question and doubt oneself always..for those who start in doubt end in conviction!

MrsCadwallader Wed 13-Jan-10 09:19:43

I would also recommend 'the Shack' and also a book called 'What's So Amazing About Grace' by Philip Yancey.

As Scootergrrl said, we are all God's children and there is nothing that we can do that will stop him from loving us. His love is there whether we accept it or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we are aware of it, or not.

You deserve God's love as much as anyone else, because, like everyone else, you are God's child. He loves you. Yes, you. Especially you.

Go easy on yourself. We all sin. No one of us is any better or worse in God's eyes than any other. Have heart. xxx

Er...I have done all of the things you mention and still bitch and moan every day.grin

Humans are not supposed to be perfect. It's about accepting grace every day.

Thankfully Christ died so I do get to not be perfect.

You sound a bit depressed in your opening paragraph, and perhaps with low self-esteem?

cuppa Wed 13-Jan-10 09:41:50

Thank you, your words are appreciated. I guess I would write the same as you, but I just don't feel it.

Why do I still feel so distant from God? Why do I always feel like I'm standing outside on a cold wintry day, looking in the steamed up windows at the poeple who do have a real loving relationship? How can I go in too? It feel like I've always wanted it but never got in. WIll I ever make it from being the crap one oiutside pressing my nose up against the window wanting to be let in but never managing ti?

TeamEdward Wed 13-Jan-10 10:07:30

Knock and the door shall be opened to you.

(I don't know the verse to quote it from, but this is what comes to my mind when I feel outside of God's embrace)

HallelujahHeisBorntoMary Wed 13-Jan-10 10:08:50

It really does sound as you need to forgive yourself first, for I do not believe God would leave you outside. I felt as you did once, and I even had it confirmed that I was going to hell, when I went to a friend's church and was told I was going to hell by a member of the welcoming committee!

Mother Teresa once said "I am told God loves me and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul”. She saw this as her dark and shameful secret, which should be hidden at all costs. She asked for all her writings to be destroyed so that no-one would know - only that didn't happen. Rightly or wrongly, this was shared with the whole world!

Yet if she could feel like that, I can stand up too and say "yes I feel like that sometimes too". There are times I feel emptiness where God should be. But I am CONVINCED that it is me that is making me feel like that, because God, in the person of Jesus said so much to tell me that he is there for me always "even to the end of time".

We ALL fall short of God's glory, ALL of us. Yet he still loves us.

There are times I feel close to God, there are times I feel far from God. Yet God is still there, unchanging, unswerving from his love for us.

I could say more, I could talk forever on this subject, but one last thought. Who was right with God - the Pharisee who said "God I thank you I am not like these others", or the one who stood there penitent saying "God be merciful to me a sinner"?

MrsCadwallader Wed 13-Jan-10 10:14:38

Firstly, I don't think you should assume that everyone else has a wonderful relationship with God. We all struggle sometimes and go through phases like you where we feel like we are just 'going through the motions' of faith and longing for some sense of nearness to God. I guess it's a bit like when you are at the edge of a group of friends - it's very easy to feel that everyone else it better friends with all the others than you are, but the fact is that every member of the group feels the same way (does that make sense?)

If I'm honest, I'm going through a phase at the moment of deperately wanting to feel a closeness to God but not quite managing. I know it's there and it's possible, because I have felt it before but with life so busy and stressful at the moment I am struggling to feel like I have any relationship at all - so you see, it isn't just you!

What helps me to regain a sense of closeness to God is to work at building my relationships with other people (logical, if you think about it, if God is in each of us we become closer to him by being closer to other people). If you consciously make an effort to become closer to the people in your life (eg by offering to help them out, going for a coffee, whatever) and by allowing them to become closer to you (by accepting offers of help from them, for example) it becomes easier to sense God's presence, in my experience (I hope this makes some sense - I have my 3 year old tugging my elbow wanting me to make lego cars with him!)

Also, because I am struggling a bit with my own relationship with God at the moment, I am reading a lot of Christian literature to try get a bit closer. Something I read a few days ago (in a CS Lewis book) really struck a chord with me: it was to do with our nearness to God, and he was describing how at the beginning of or relationship with God we can feel very close to Him, but as we journey through life we can feel like we are growing further and further away. He likened it to standing at the top of a mountain, above a village. We want to get to that village for food and shelter and in terms of distance we are very close - it is only a few hundred yards below us. But to get to the village we have to go the 'long way round' following the path around the edge of the mountain. At certain points in the journey you are going to be much further in actual distance from the village that you were when you started - you are getting further away rather than closer - but in approach and in terms of your journey, you are moving ever closer to a hot meal and a warm bed.

Our relationship with God is the same. We will go through phases where we feel we are moving further and further away from him, and yet in terms of our journey through life, we are actually moving closer and closer to a 'right' relationship with him.

I hope I've explained that in a way that is helpful to you - as I said, I personally found it incredibly comforting. Like all journeys, or journey with God is one of small steps, and there are many occasions where we feel like we are not moving at all. But God is patient andhe waits for us to reach him in our own time, and in our own way.

I hope that helps a little.

dontworrybehappy Wed 13-Jan-10 10:19:03

Don't worry, it is normal to feel like this sometimes, for example, look at Saint Augustine's Confessions.

It would be sensible to chat to your priest / vicar / minister about this but also I wonder if you might be feeling a bit upset about other things - in which case it might be worth going to see your GP to check if you might be depressed and find out what the GP can do to help with that?

BetsyBoop Wed 13-Jan-10 15:37:14

ditto what others have said, about none of us are perfect, we all have our ups & downs, but it doesn't matter God loves us all etc.

One other thing to add into the mix

I don't know which tradition you "belong" to but the CofE have something going by the very grand title of "The Reconciliation of a Penitent" which you could arrange with your priest (I'm sure other traditions would be able to do something similar)

See page 266 for more information
"These orders may be appropriately used when a person’s conscience is burdened with a particular sin, when a person wishes to make a new beginning in the Christian life, or as part of a regular personal discipline."

Not sure if you'll think this is a bit OTT, or an option for a more formal way of having a "fresh start" so to speak,?

God loves you and forgives you - the problem is that you don't feel loved or forgiven, and that's trickier a lot of the time.

You say you used to go to church - do you actually believe that God was incarnate in Christ, and that Christ died to save humanity? If so, why do you feel that your sins are so much worse than anyone else's that God couldn't possibly forgive you? Christianity doesn't recognise a "sliding scale" of how bad your sins are - there is just perfection (found only in Christ) and sin (found in the everyone else) Your sins sound like those of a hurt and confused adolescent, not deliberately trying to cuase pain and hurt to others - I think if there was a scale to measure a level of sin by, then yours don't sound so awful to me.

So, you need to accept in your head that you can wipe the slate clean with God. Then you need to do it. Sometimes it can feel easier if you actually do something to mark that - you could go to a priest for confession - RC and CofE can both do this for you, though with CofE you would have to find your priest and ask specifically.

Or you can do it yourself - write out all the bad stuff on pieces of paper and have a bonfire, or write them on a slate and physically wash them away.

Then move on - start going to church again, and try to join a small prayer group or house group to help you feel supported and accepted.

PinkFluffyslippers Wed 13-Jan-10 18:42:27

I can't say anything really meaningful except we've all sinned heaps and yet we're all forgiven. Stop worrying about the past - think about today and give your kids big hugs and tell them you love them and start afresh tomorrow.
YEah I know I'm making it sound so simple --- but stay around and you'll get HEAPS of support on this site..
Have a big hug xxx very un MN

Hullygully Wed 13-Jan-10 18:46:14

Drink wine and dance. Joy is the antidote, not church.

HallelujahHeisBorntoMary Thu 14-Jan-10 08:27:09

We have joy in church.

Hullygully Thu 14-Jan-10 11:30:06

I've never seen any. My experience has always been very joyless. Sin, punishment, appalling wounds and crucifixion. Boring sermons by droning men.

Disco. That brings joy.

HallelujahHeisBorntoMary Thu 14-Jan-10 12:04:23

I agree there are some churches like that - I've experienced them myself. But I believe in a God of love and forgiveness, who also has a 'wicked' sense of humour. The church I'm in doesn't always get it right, but then if everyone in it was perfect, they probably wouldn't need to go to chuch at all. St Augustine talks about a mix of saints and sinners, and that sums it up for me. And if my sermons are boring, I'm quite prepared to have people tell me so! But I try really hard to make them relevant and interesting!

I agree with you on personal wounds and crucifixion, but the thing is, if that was where it ended, there'd be no Christianity. But it didn't. Jesus triumphed over his appalling death and rose again. A hope in the darkness. A promise of eternal life for those who believe.

Now discos, I'm not that keen on. I have sensory problems so being overexposed to flashy lights, loud noises, strong smells, people packed into cramped spaces etc doesn't do a lot for me

Hullygully Thu 14-Jan-10 12:10:01

No, not going to discos, but listening to the music and having a good old dance. Very life-affirming.

Oh, you give/preach sermons. Ah. Are you a Rev? What sort of church do you have?

DutchOma Thu 14-Jan-10 12:54:13

Hullygully, I'm sorry that you feel about church that way but I would like to bring this thread back to the original poster. Cuppa, I'm wondering how we can help you along to find that love that is on offer from God the Father to you.

I think that the thing you need to realise first of all is that emotions are not a good guide to the way God feels about you. It may feel as if you are outside of a relationship with God, but in reality and truth you are not.
Once you have made confession of your sin, realised that you have sinned and have asked God's forgiveness, the promise of God is that He has forgiven you, that He has "removed your transgressions as far as the east is from the west" (Ps 103:12) Now, you not only need to believe that is true, you will also need to start living it. The prayer book says that we need to live 'in newness of life', so that means that you do not think back over past misdemeanours, but live a life 'worthy of the gospel' (Phil 1:27).
Of course you will slip back on occasion, that is where it helps to be in touch with other Christians.
There may be specific issues where we can help and encourage you and I hope you will feel able to share them with us.

HallelujahHeisBorntoMary Thu 14-Jan-10 13:31:31

I'm a Lay Reader (preacher), in the C of E, working in rural parish.

meltedchocolate Thu 14-Jan-10 14:38:34

<<skids to a halt>>

Wow, you sound JUST like me. Done everything you said and felt exactly the same way as you. I don't know if I can be of much help but I have been there and know exactly what you are feeling and what is holding you back. Please CAT me if you wish. I am still very young in my faith (and life) but would like to support you if at all possible.

I am sorry you feel that way Hully. I never thought church and a relationship with Christ could bring the joy to my life that it has or any actually. My anger towards God and the church used to be painful (although I did not see it that way at the time) and only when I turned back to Him did I find everything that I hadn't even realised had been missing and what I had been trying to fill with other things (like music - only not dance, metal <<cringe>> ). Anyway, I really hope you dont always see church as a joyless place. It really isn't.

MrsMattie Thu 14-Jan-10 14:42:45

It sounds like you are carrying a huge amount of guilt. Church certainly isn't the only - or necessarily the best - way to deal with this. It sounds like you have lived a full human life with lots of mistakes and wrong turns along the way. Like all of us. Can you find a way to give yourself a break?

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