Q: I used to be a faithful church member, but I did something so terrible that I can’t even write about it. I destroyed my family and wrecked my life, and I feel so guilty that I know I’ll never go to church again. – T.J.
A: I’ve often said that one of life’s hardest lessons is that we cannot change the past. When you’re driving somewhere and you take a wrong road, you can always go back and take the right one, but we can’t do that in life. Bad decisions always have bad consequences — always.
But you can change the future — with God’s help. And that’s why I urge you not to turn your back on God’s people. Yes, it may be difficult or embarrassing for you to return to the church you once attended, but that doesn’t mean God can’t guide you to a new group of believers who can encourage and help you. If our bodies are sick, we’ll go where we can find help, and if we’re spiritually sick, we ought to do the same. The Bible says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
The first step, however, is for you to seek God’s forgiveness for whatever you’ve done. Don’t let shame, or fear, or guilt, or anything else keep you from Christ. He loves you and offers you forgiveness as a free gift, a gift he paid for at the cost of his own blood. No sin is beyond his forgiveness. Leave your burden of guilt and shame at the foot of the cross.
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Then ask God to help you walk with him every day. In addition, ask him to use you in the lives of others, helping them avoid the traps you fell into and to live instead for Christ.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.