The Judas Syndrome
This blog isn't about what you think. The first mention of Judas would lead one to ultimately think of betrayal. While I will touch on that subject briefly, this particular blog is regarding repentance.
From the Book of Matthew, Chapter 27: (NLT) :
1 Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. 2 Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”
“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”
5 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself...
There is a 2-fold issue here. One one side of the proverbial coin is the obvious, the one that most Christians point out: Judas' betrayal and subsequent guilt. The other side is a little less obvious: Judas' inability to repent.
Interestingly enough, verse 3 of the KJV translation says that Judas "repented himself".
Let's look at the word "repent". "Repent" is defined in Webster's dictionary as " [turning] from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life".
A better translation of verse 3, in my opinion, is in the NLT which uses "remorse" in replacement.
There is a difference between remorse or regret and repentance. You can be remorseful of your transgressions and sins, but it is another thing entirely to repent. Judas took the route that most of us take when faced with self-condemnation or condemnation from the Holy Spirit. We hide, we run away, shut ourselves off from hearing God by putting our fingers in our ears like children, or worse yet, we self-destruct out of guilt.
Rather than actually repent and be made whole, Judas was remorseful. That remorse and guilt was Satan's green light to manipulate Judas into suicide.
My point is this: rather than subject ourselves to ongoing guilt, self-loathing, and self-destructive behaviors, wouldn't it be so much easier to just REPENT and MOVE ON?
You made your bed, you laid in it, now get OUT of the bed! Don't stay in the bed forever because the more you think, the more you blink. As the saying goes, "an idle mind is the Devil's playground".
Ask God to forgive you. ONCE. He'll forgive you (even if you screw up again- though it's not a hall pass to do so). That's it. Move on. Don't keep asking for forgiveness for something that you've LONG been forgiven for. That would make Jesus' work on the Cross in vain as it pertains to your life.
Move on, and move on in the RIGHT direction. A smart mouse knows where the traps are and will never go toward the cheese on top of the trap. Either they've seen their little mouse homies get murked, or they've had enough close calls to know not to go there again. Don't fall for the same traps, no matter how tempting the cheese looks.
Don't be like Judas. Don't let your guilt stop you from your relationship with God.
Repent, and keep it movin'.