mysterious_joy (mysterious_joy) wrote in christianity,

repenting of evil thoughts

It seems to me that regular repenting of what is evil in our life, is a mainstay of christian life.

But I would like to know, how am I doing that when it comes to evil thoughts? From evil deeds I know how to repent and I don't do them anymore, at least usually. For example, it has been rather easy to repent of illegally downloading things, I just don't do that anymore for years now and it's ok.

But how do I repent of evil thoughts? I have read that I need to acknowledge that these thoughts are unwanted and that I can safely ignore them, but it seems to me that if I do that then it only gets worse. That is, when I don't have any of these thoughts my inward life is smooth sailing and I feel alright and I enjoy being a christian too, it's like nothing separates me from God. But if I have these thoughts I feel distanced from God, because the thoughts are so nasty, and I also feel dirty from them.

But repenting of them isn't so easy. When I am in a good mood it's not too hard, I don't get to have any bad thoughts in the first place, but once I had them I always feel I need to counter them with good thoughts, only I don't get them or even if I have, the fear and the dirt don't go away, or it seems the good thoughts are fake and dishonest. Many times I've tried to understand myself to see if I have dark spots in me, if there is anything sinful IN ME which would cause these nasty thoughts. What I found though was not a concrete evil but a sloppiness and carelessness I often fall into.

During the times when I don't have these thoughts the lack of cares seems ok. There just isn't much in me then which I hate and I can rather easily deal with other people and their demands, and I feel ok about myself. I mean, I don't think I am a good person because only God is good, but I can accept myself without neither pride nor fear. I see myself as an ordinary guy with some good traits and some bad ones, but I don't see myself as so different from most other people and hence don't feel special, not especially good nor especially evil.

But when I have these thoughts I have all these suspicions about myself, and this unability to see anything good and alright in me. It even feels as if I don't have any faith, or as if these evil thoughts distance me from God and that I can't come to Him freely anymore. I end up severely misunderstanding myself.

About a year ago on one night Jesus came to me and He told me that I am always misunderstanding myself, that in the truth I love God without always knowing it, without being aware of it. That somehow in all these years with the schizo I have unlearned how to trust myself in regards to whether I have faith, love, hope, any other virtue, etc.

And some weeks ago Jesus came back and said, I have humility, but I need to take steps of faith, to make an effort to lift my head and not try to do with humility alone. Also, it seems to me Jesus has shown me that I need to have self esteem, and if I don't practice self esteem the self gets lost either in fear or in aggressiveness. I didn't really understand this at first, especially how self esteem prevents aggressiveness, but I have given it some thought and talked with my counselor about it, and it's true.

What I lack is a certain certainty about my self, a true and solid knowledge of myself in the truth. So that I am self secure and not always so doubting. Basically, I have this habit of doubt which is spurned all the more by the nasty thoughts I sometimes get. And in these doubts, I question myself, and in this habit of doubting I end up doubting other people as well, and also our God.

I need to repent of this somehow, and I do frequently turn to God about it. But in the same time when I do this I feel confused, as if the whole thing is artificial, as if I am trying to repent of an illness, which is senseless. But still I feel I have a need for repenting, only that my real issues are different from what I think, that it's not about great evils in me but actually small things, like a certain sloppiness, a lack of esteem for myself in Christ, a shunning back from lifting my head and instead always thinking of what's shameful. It is that which I need to repent of and then I think anything else will just fall into place.

Any ideas?
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