What should I do about my guilt?

After almost 15 years after my divorce I still feel guilt! You see, I had an affair before I was saved with a close friend of the family. Then I made the choice to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. After 24 years of marriage my husband left me for my best friend and to this day they are still married. I feel that my actions before I got saved led to this event and God is punishing me. This guilt is overwhelming. My husband does not know about the affair as I felt it best not to tell him. Is this why I feel so guilty? He is back in church and told me years ago that God has forgiven him for what he did but he has never asked for my forgiveness, nor has she. I want justice and none is coming. I have tried to get back into church but the memories of the times we were involved in the church are too overwhelming for me to attend any of the services I have tried to attend. I don’t know what to do with this whole situation.

Thanks for your question and I commend you for seeking help from God’s Word. First, I would encourage you to confirm in your own heart that you know Jesus Christ as your Savior (John 1:12). Then, seek to grow in your faith by becoming grounded in God’s Word through personal Bible study (Colossians 2:6-7). As you study the Bible, focus on forgiveness, since this will help you deal with the guilt you carry about your past, as well as help you forgive your ex-husband and his wife.

The guilt you have in regard to your past divorce and the affair needs to be considered nailed to the cross with Christ and cancelled out when you received Jesus as Savior (Colossians 2:13-14). Pray these verses back to God and tell Him you consider the guilt gone. By the way, your actions before you were saved did not lead to your current situation and God is not punishing you. As the previous verses declare, God considered those actions covered by the blood of Christ, Who died on the cross so you could be free from such guilt (Galatians 5:1). False guilt is often a tool of Satan to keep believers discouraged, so allow the truth to set you free!

The difficulty you are experiencing with your ex-husband and his wife is brought on by focusing on justice when God wants you to focus on forgiveness. As you forgive them for any wrong they’ve done to you and allow God to deal with them on any forgiveness they need from Him, you will have a sense of peace (Ephesians 4:31-32, Colossians 3:13, Romans 12:18-19). Don’t wait for them to ask forgiveness in order to have peace with them. If they do ask forgiveness, it will be a blessing, but not the basis for your peace. You need peace now, so let God give it to you as you turn the people that trouble you over to Him.

Once you’ve applied forgiveness to your life, you’ll be able to worship in any church without the hindrances of hurt feelings and bad memories. These feelings and memories are another way that Satan attempts to keep believers from having victory in life. So, don’t let Satan keep you away from church or a closer relationship with Jesus (Hebrews 10:24-25).

May the Lord bless you with freedom from guilt and the joy of love covering a multitude of sins!