Okay, just a warning ~ I have a million and one thoughts and they are not all processed so this posting is in "process" so bear with me. Also, this may be part 1 of 2 or 3 or 4 I don't know!
First of all, I think God is on a mission to release His children from the burden of Shame and Guilt. I really mean it ~ He wants us to walk in the reality of FREEDOM in our everyday life. Jesus died to set us free and yet we sit so entangled much of the time.
So here is what I've been starting to comprehend. Well let me go back, I think over the last 5 years the Lord has done a great job of releasing me from striving and living by being guilt motivated. I think I'm finally getting it. My "newest" revelation in this area, however, has freed me up to see "others" in a non-judgemental way and to really just love them.
It is all boiling down for me to the power of forgiveness (and I have to thank my father-in-law for pointing this out to me). When Jesus died on the cross, he forgave ALL sins past, present, future. Not just the sins of Christians but also the sins of non-Christians. The payment has been paid in FULL! 1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit."
I think sometimes as Christians we get so caught up in the fact that we still sin, or we see the sin in others and we want to make payment for it. We walk around in guilt and shame because we went down that road that we knew we weren't supposed to go down. We think by feeling guilty about it we will somehow "pay" God back for failing Him. Well guess what, the reason Jesus had to die is because we would NEVER be able to pay back for our failings.
Repentance, therefore, for a Christian is not about carrying around a burden of guilt and shame but it is about coming into agreement with what God says is true. And do you know what the Bible says in Luke 15:10 "In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." I always viewed this verse as "the angels were rejoicing" until one of my pastors preached a sermon on joy and pointed out that the angels are in the presence of joy. Who's joy ~ God's joy! God is thrilled when we turn to Him. He is rejoicing that we finally get it and He wants to celebrate with us. His arms are wide open to receive us.
So my encouragement to myself and others is to throw off the cloak of shame and guilt and our misunderstandings of repentance. You really will want to turn to God when you see how He feels about you and that the payment has already been paid ~ so move on your sins have been cast as far as the East is from the West. Then when you see how much God loves you and rejoices over you in your repentance it will free you to love others freely! At least, for me this has been a huge key to letting go of judgement of others. They don't need to pay me back for the wrongs they have done against me because the payment has already been paid in full by Jesus. I want them to experience the freedom that I have found by coming into agreement with the truths of who God is.
I hope this makes sense to you. It is just the ground level of more that God has been showing me and I'm still learning and seeing but I hope it blesses you.