I realize now that I can be forgiven, so how do I get past the guilt?


I've obsessed for a long time about committing the unpardonable sin, as some have called it. I have struggled with some addictions for a while (alcohol and pornography), and a few times had the thought come into my mind: "if you give in to certain temptations, you will lose the Holy Spirit." Well, I resisted many times, and other times I ignored that thought and gave in to temptation anyway.

I now want to leave sin behind for good, but I feel like I've chosen those temptations over the Holy Spirit by not keeping that command in the past. I also cursed at God one time, and I'm so terribly ashamed about that. I'm not sure if I had been drinking at the time, but it wouldn't surprise me.

In short, I'm leaving alcohol and all the sin it brings on, and I want to start a new life in Christ, but I've struggled tremendously with guilt and wondering if I'm saved or not, or whether failing to listen to those thoughts about losing the Holy Spirit has made me guilty of that unpardonable sin. Your previous answer on the unforgivable sin has brought me peace, and I'm still trying to get past the guilt now. Thank you for your help and understanding.


Good for you! It is hard to admit that you have a problem and even harder to decide to let go. I don't know where you are, but is it possible for the two of us to sit down together and talk about the Bible and what you need to do?

What I would like to help you see is how you've been manipulated by both the alcohol and the pornography to seek them out for what looks like problems in your life. Yet, all the while alcohol and pornography cause the very problems people look to them to solve. Take a look at the article "A Look at Pornography" for a discussion on how the pornography industry uses your desires to pull money out of your wallet. The article "Round in a Circle" talks about how addictive habits become self-sustaining.

As odd as it might seem, I would not want you to feel guiltless about your past sins. If your sins did not bother you, then what would motivate you to leave them? Without some guilt, sin becomes the norm. "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13). Guilt tells me that your heart is still tender.

But being consumed by guilt, that is another matter. You have to separate where you have been from where you are going. "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). This is from a man who had blasphemed God in his past and sought to kill God's people (I Timothy 1:12-15).

Sin is a constant problem. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). It will always be knocking at the door of your heart. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). The difference between the Christian and the world is that the world accepts sin, the child of God puts up a fight. "Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (I Peter 5:9-10).

I'm so glad you decided to fight.

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