Question:

Hello,

A few months ago I started going through a hard time of my life, I had a problem that I, myself, couldn't solve, so I put in God's hands. As I was really desperate and willing to do anything for it, I offered a few sacrifices (yes, more than one) and I have fulfilled most of them, expect one. I have kept all of my sacrifices, but I broke one of them.

A few days before breaking it, I had a feeling I wouldn't, I asked God for strength and I asked for me to do the right thing, but I was weak. Since then I started feeling guilty, and I am living under such a huge stress and sadness because of it. God has helped me with the problem but I am still facing this problem and still need God's help. I feel like I am not deserving of His help because I didn't keep my vow. I know this is an irrational thing, but I can't feel good with myself. This problem I'm going through is destroying me and I need God to help me with it.

Many people tell me "Don't worry, you're truly sorry. He will forgive you and help you," but I feel the need to redeem myself, so I can feel like I am deserving of His help again. How could I do this? Is there anything I can do?


Answer:

There is a fundamental problem here. You are making up rules for yourself that are not found in the Bible. Then you are getting mad at yourself for not being able to keep your made-up rules. "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9). Can you cite for me where God said that He answers prayers based on what a person decides to sacrifice? What I find is that God answers prayers that request things that are according to His will. "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (I John 5:14-15).

Serving God is not a matter of feelings; that is, feelings don't determine what is God's will. God tells us what to do and we serve with our reason. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Feelings change and can be manipulated. God's Word is constant and unchanging. "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (I Peter 1:22-23).

Notice that you are trying to earn God's favor and to save yourself. It is a hopeless task for any man because all of us are sold under sin. "For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:3-6).

God doesn't need your sacrifices or your vows. What He wants from you is your faith and your obedience, so stop trying to manipulate God.