A few years ago when it became apparent to me that I would need to make some changes to improve my life, one of the largest and hardest obstacles to overcome was me. Sure I consumed a little alcohol, smoked a little weed, and participated in activities that were completely outside the realm of God, but these things were seemingly easy to fix compared to the pride and the guilt I held close to my heart. Pride is important, pride in who you are, pride in my Christianity for example is very important; however, just like anything else, too much pride can be dangerous both spiritually and physically.
Looking back on my life, I can clearly see how an excessive amount of pride forced me to participate in activities that were not only dangerous for myself, but for the general public as well. Street fights, bar fights, gang fights, and any other type of fight you can imagine, I participated in simply because my pride would not allow me to back down; however, even pride could not stand up against the need and the desire to make changes in my life and I was able to put pride in its place, but the guilt of my actions was more than I could bare. Guilt is a funny thing, it is almost like being insane, you know you feel guilty for whatever it was that you did, but then in an attempt to overcome the guilt, you do something else that you will feel guilty about later, at least that is how it worked for me anyway.
The problem is that we condemn ourselves mentally for the mistakes that we have made, the sins we have committed, or the failures in our lives; however, Jesus himself tells us in John chapter 8. In consideration of time and to make a point, I will paraphrase the story, but feel free to read it for your self. There was a young woman who had been accused of adultery, in those days, anyone who committed the sin of adultery was to be stoned to death. A group of men presented the woman to Jesus and asked him what should be done with the woman; however, Jesus did not immediately answer them. Jesus then began to write in the dirt, when the group of men asked again, Jesus stood up and said "He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her" at that point, the men began to leave, and Jesus spoke again, this time to the young woman "Where are your condemners?" the woman answered "no one is here" and Jesus said to her "neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more". The premise of the story told in John chapter 8 is quite simple, if Jesus himself will not condemn you for past failures, why then do you condemn yourself.
There is no one alive on the face of the Earth that has not made a mistake, failed at something, or is guilty of something; however, the question is will it destroy you, will you be defeated by guilt, or will you find the strength to overcome whatever it is that is holding you back. My faith in God has given me a fresh and shiny new start in life, and a little faith can do the same for you. Do not allow a mistake to hold you back from attaining the best that life has to offer you, the plans you have made are reachable, you just have to let go of your pain and failures and let God deal with them for you. Will it be easy?, no of course not, but if you put one foot in front of the other and take it one step at a time, you too can have a fresh and shiny new start in life.