Question:

Six years ago I ruined my reputation and manyburned bridges; irreparable damage. To this day I haven't forgiven myself and neither have those who I've offended and hurt. No one will accept my apology; no one. The gossip has gotten so bad, that I've relocated several times in order to start fresh and put my past behind me. With every single relocation, I have been stalked by those in my past, who have the sole purpose of letting the entire world know what kind of person I am, or was. It's their sole mission to destroy me. To them, I'm nothing but garbage and it's their intent to let everyone know this. As a result, I'm unable to move forward. I also believe that I'm being blackballed from my profession as result of mypast. Quite honestly, I'm getting what I deserve but on the flip side of the same coin, I'm extremely weary in my mind, body, spirit and soul. I feelcompletely trapped. I have"zero" peace of mind. I've confessed to God that I'm getting what I rightfully deserved. I don'tblame God,the gossipers or the people I've offended and hurt. Hindsight is 20/20; could of, would of, should of, but I didn't. I screwed up royally and now I'mpaying for it. I've beenpaying for six years and will continue to pay, as long as I continue to reside whereI am. Psalm 31:10 "For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed." I've prayed to God, askedhim to forgive my sins andtoldHim that I'm getting what I totally deserve; but I'm so weary. These people won't stop until I'm completelydestroyed; it's like they take complete joy in ripping me apart. What am Ito do?


Answer:

Words have little meaning compared to action. Just as a person detects a false teacher by his actions, the same is true about a righteous man. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:16-20).

Thus, the only response to sin in your past is a complete and dramatic change to righteousness. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

God's forgiveness is complete, but men are not God. People offer words, but their actions often show something different. "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation" (I Peter 2:11-12). God knows the truth and that is all that matters, but often you can live you life so that while others say bad things, you life declares something different and people will tend to believe what they see and not what they hear.