Feeling guilty and not good enough for God and the "am I truly saved?" feeling can be devastatingly horrible.
Heaps of us Believers hear these condemning thoughts and we often sadly think that God is the author of these. - so wrong!!
God never tells you that you are worthless - he never tells you that you are loser - He never tells you that you are not good enough - He never tells you that you have overstepped the mark.
Jesus Himself said "I didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it" (John12:47)
So I hear you asking - "what about conviction by the Holy Spirit? doesn't feeling sorry cause us to feel regret for the wrongs in our lives"?
Yes it certainly does - convicting us of sin is one of, if not THE main jobs of the Holy Spirit - but there is a world of difference in the convictions of sin and the condemnation of being in sin.
Being convicted of sin makes us 'feel' just a little bit of the Spirits grief over what we have done to ourselves or others. God's Spirit makes us (if I can put it like that) feel sorrowful to the point of repentance.
The whole point of this sorrow is to enforce to us or to ensure that this area where we have fallen now can be avoided in the future. It is more about GUIDANCE then JUDGEMENT.
God loves to lead us out of Sin and His Spirit whispers to our hearts - "Come follow me - I love you - this is the way to go"
The Accuser on the other hand wants us left wallowing in our sin and whispers in our ears "You are to
blame for this mess you are in - you have done it now - Can't you see God is saying you are far too bad to repent"
So how can we distinguish between the pangs of conscience caused by God's Spirit motivated by His great love and the 'blaming condemnation' of the Accuser?
Godly sorrow and our need to repent motivates us to change or alter our future behaviour - we can put aside our 'guilt' feelings and move forward with Jesus - knowing that our sins are forgiven.
On the other hand the Spirit of the Accuser 'stuns' us into immobility constantly waving our shame and guilt like a big black wet blanket - always referring to the past - accusing and shaming us.
God's whispers point us forward - Satan's whispers points us backward.
Gods Holy Spirit's intention is not to make constant re-runs of past wrongs- accusing us over an over again and reminding us of the consequences - If that is your problem you can be assured that the message you are getting is definitely not from God but from the evil spirited - the Accuser trying hard to get your focus off God and onto yourself.
God's way is to end sins' power over us not to protract the agony of unforgiveness!!
So the upshot is - Spiritual conviction brings us to repentance without regrets. So should we feel sorry for what we did - Of course we do but when that sorry turns into self-reproach and shame you can almost guarantee that your repentance has been hijacked by the accuser.
Don't listen to Satan's whispers - God's intention of repentance isn't to put us on probation - His holy spirit convicts us, we repent and He forgives and forgets.