1. Guilt will destroy a person
People can have too much sorrow! That is why Paul tells us to forgive the sinner:
“For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:6-1 ESV).
And beside that, a person’s failures have little to do with you and me! To his own Master he stands or falls.
“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4 ESV).
2. It’s risky!
Bringing up people’s past and making them feel guilty may get you what you want in the short term, but it is a dangerous tactic.
The Bible warns us that “if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (Galatians 5:15 ESV).
Using guilt as a weapon is folly! It is dangerous.
Others may look to see if you have skeletons in your cupboard!
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 ESV).
3. It takes chastisement out of God’s hands!
The Lord gently chastises His children. Those He loves, He corrects. (See Hebrews 12:3-11).
And when we fight those who attack us, we free them from God’s actions.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19 ESV).
Vengeance is Mine the Lord says!
When we bring up the past we can do nothing about it. We can offer no solace or balm.
But when God speaks to a person’s heart about their past, He offers hope and forgiveness!
Revenge really has no place in Christians. If we are going to be Christ-like we will need to learn how to be like Christ!
“When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23 ESV).
4. It’s not kind!
It’s rude. It’s not nice. It’s bad manners. Even good-mannered unbelievers don’t do it.
A “holier-than-thou” attitude is never an act of love — it is always an act of violence. It may masquerade as “brutal honesty,” but the true intention of guilt is always to wound, to hurt, and to break down. Whatever the reason we do what we do, guilt aims to make the other person suffer.
We do it to the ones that are closest to us. We wouldn’t get away with it if we did it to a stranger. The closer we are to people, the more “truthful” we feel we can be!
Or maybe we just say it within ourselves. But that is no better.
“Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39 ESV).
This was bringing up this woman’s past!
The Parisee thought he had just said it to himself. But Jesus read his mind. He heard his thoughts!
We are urged to “…Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Perhaps we are hurt. But that is no excuse. Christians should be able to get over things and move on. If we cannot get over the past, there must be something wrong with our walk with the Lord!
The very basic, is to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.
5. Christians are called to inspire others
We are supposed to make each other glad.
“For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?” (2 Corinthians 2:2 ESV).
We are supposed to build each other up, not pull each other down!
6. Confessed past faults are forgiven!
“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12 ESV).
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17).
Their past is “nailed to the cross!”
Do you remember the words of that good old hymn?
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
We don’t want to mess around with anything that has been nailed to the cross.
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33-34 ESV).
7. It’s hypocrisy
God hates those who claim to be “holier-than-thou! He says they are like smoke in His nostrils. (Isaiah 65:5).
We all have a past. All of us have sinned – and DO sin!
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10).
Or then again, perhaps we are envious of their walk with the Lord. Like a child who wants to be the favourite in the family. So we try to bring down our brother.
What are we trying to prove? That they are worthless? And that we are better?
8. It splits up God’s family!
Unity is the goal of all true believers.
A house divided will always fall. That goes for local congregations as well as family homes.
“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” (Proverbs 14:1 ESV).
Bringing up the past attacks the foundations of God’s building by driving a wedge between brothers!
Every time we bring up a person’s past in order to draw comparisons between us and them, we are putting a wedge between us and them. It’s just not worth it!
What is more it does not reflect the character of our Heavenly Father. He does not forgive begrudgingly.
He delights in mercy:
“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.” (Micah 7:18 NKJV).
9. It’s judgmental
This judgmental attitude towards others’ past failures claims that we are without sin.
Jesus Christ tells us: Judge not that ye be not judged.
We should judge ourselves, but not others.
Paul reinforces the message to the Romans. He tells them they are inexcusable when they judge another.
“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:1-4 ESV).
10. It’s not Scriptural
Love doesn’t keep a record of things done to it. 1 Corrinthians 13.
Real love is not conditional!
For example, when we use phrases like “if you loved me you would…” We are saying that our love for that person is conditional. We only love them IF they prove they are worthy of our love.
That is not Christ-like love. It was when we were yet SINNERS that God loved us and Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).
What is more, if they do prove it, that will not be enough. They will be expected to prove it over and over again. Nobody can be expected to keep starting from the beginning and prove their love all over again.