Do you ever find yourself saying, “I feel so bad!”? I do and I am trying to stop feeling bad. I tend to feel bad when I have to break an appointment because a conflict arises. I feel bad when I accidentally hurt someone’s feelings. I feel bad when I inconvenience people. I feel bad when I can’t do the things I want to do in life because of lack of time, resources or money. I feel bad when I expect too much of people…or let people down.
But over time I’ve realized that there is no place for “feeling bad” as a follower of Christ–except in one situation.
First, there are two situations when we tend to “feel bad” but shouldn’t.
1. When we’ve done what we needed to do and feel confident in our decision BUT it disappointed or inconvenienced someone so we “feel bad.”
“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23
That verse means that anything done in faith is NOT sin–even if other people don’t like it. If you did what you did in faith, out of love and/or with a pure heart, it wasn’t sin so you can feel good about it! Sometimes what’s best for us rubs other people the wrong way or event hurts or offends them but you’re not in charge of their response–you’re only in charge of your motives. If your motives were pure, there’s nothing to “feel bad” about.
2. When we hurt someone–intentionally or not–ask for forgiveness and still “feel bad” about it.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
You apologized. You asked for forgiveness from the person you hurt and from God. Whether the other person accepts your apology or not, you are forgiven, justified and in right standing with God. There’s nothing to “feel bad” about!
Second, that leaves the ONE situation when we SHOULD “feel bad” as a believer. That is when we wronged someone or did something that wasn’t done in faith (we sinned) and we haven’t asked for forgiveness. Yup, that’s the only time we can rightfully “feel bad.”
So! The next time you find yourself “feeling bad,” ask yourself if it’s because you sinned and haven’t yet asked for forgiveness–then make it right! If it’s more of the “I disappointed someone” or “I’m forgiven but still feel guilty” variety, repent and turn around because you are OK, sister! Ideally, our moments of “feeling bad” would be few and far between because we’d catch them, repent and move on quickly. I want to take “I feel bad” out of my vocabulary and I hope my lesson in this area can help some of you take it out of yours as well. Stop “feeling bad” and start feeling confident in your identity in Christ!