I fear people will judge me because of my sinful past



I was backsliding in my teenage and youthful days. I was in a relationship with a Christian, but now, I am married to another girl. I didn't attend the church services regularly for years due to some issues. I feel guilty for missing the fellowship and because of the sins of my younger days. I cannot face people because I feel that people may judge me. I also fear for my future. I am unable to proceed further because I failed in my career, spiritual life, and relationship. These guilty feelings haunt me, causing anxiety and depression. I cannot forgive myself for my past sinful behavior when I wasted time with wrong things and people.

Please guide me.


You fear other people will judge you in the same way that you have judged yourself. Not that it has happened; you only imagine how people will treat you. Yet, many Christians have pasts that we are not proud of. After listing numerous sins that will keep people out of heaven, Paul said, "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11). Paul, himself, had a past.

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life" (I Timothy 1:12-16).

Christianity is not about our pasts. It is about who we are are where we are going. "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). You can either let the fears of your imagination ruin your life, or you can submit yourself to the Lord, who loves you and can save you from your sins. You know you don't deserve his favor -- none of us do -- but you can appreciate his offer of grace. In doing so, you can join the brethren who are in the same sort of situation -- forgiven of past wrongs and loved by God. After all, it has never been about whether you can forgive yourself but whether God forgives you. You can't put yourself into Heaven, but God can.

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