As a Christian, is it a sin to enjoy the memories of the bad things we did in our past?

As a Christian, is it wrong to still enjoy the bad things we did in the past?

This has nothing to do with regret. I know I would NEVER do those things again, but when I look back on a lot of the things I did, it brings a smile to my face.  Is that "wrong?"  Sometimes I even think about things from my past and giggle about the situation I found myself in, although it wasn't "right in God's eyes" by any means. 

Is it wrong, as a Christian, to NOT feel badly about the bad things we've done?  

Clarify Share Report Asked January 29 2015 139403495231164416 JoAnn Greco

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Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
As a Christian, is it a sin to enjoy the memories of bad things we did in our past?

First I presuppose that the “bad things” contemplated here are sinful acts that we committed in our disobedience before we yielded to Christ. They may also be acts of disobedience which we encountered while in Christ but were forgiven and restored from them. 

Whereas it is not possible to completely blot out our past memories from our minds, scripture declares in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The Greek words for “new creature” convey the idea of a new establishment or building suggesting that there is a total reconstruction of our nature that God in Christ has wrought. We are therefore spiritually detached from our sinful past as far as God is concerned because our standing is exclusively anchored in Christ’s shed blood which has given for our justification before God. 

Unfortunately, we still live in a fallen world and our old nature is still partly attached to our new nature so that as scripture teaches in James 4:5 “…The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy.” There is a spiritual battle that takes place daily between our new nature and our old nature but 1 Corinthians 15:57 declares “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Similarly, 1 John 5:4 says “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” John 8:36 declares “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Now, to recollect our sinful past is not sinful by itself but to enjoy or delight in those memories that remind us of our disobedience would be inappropriate for a child of God and may be a sign that some of our past habits have not been spiritually severed from us or that Satan is using them to tempt us into disobedience. Some of the memories may consist of recollections of acts of lust, open disobedience and the like and cannot be pleasant to recollect, let alone enjoy. I get your point that you feel strong enough never to do them again but scripture reminds in 1 Corinthians 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." The best we can do when such things haunt us is to ask God for the grace to overcome the sinful thoughts so that we are freed from their entanglement or enticements. 

There is nothing to giggle about them but rather as the Bible puts it in James 4:9 "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." Our memories of our disobedience should remind us of our family or friends who are still lost in disobedience and lead us to pray for them as we are forever thankful to our Lord for finding us worthy of His redeeming grace. 

The Bible teaches us in 1 John 4:4 that greater is he who is in us than he that is in the world. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus and we are no longer slaves to disobedience. I agree that we can never be prefect before God but Christ's love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

We should therefore dwell on things that uplift our spirits and as Paul teaches in Philippians 4:8 “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

January 30 2015 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
If one is speaking specifically of the sins of the past, then yes it is wrong to 'enjoy' the sin in a memory. That would be treating sin as "good", rather than dwelling on what is upright and pure as Ezekiel elaborates in his excellent answer (Phil 4:8).

Satan appears as an angel of light (II Cor 11:14), and tempts us with the glamour of the past. If we start seeing our past sin as 'good', this is a step towards comparing it to the present (Exx 7:10), looking back (Gen 19:12-26), minimizing the temptation of sin (James 1:13-15), etc.

Rather, when we think of the past, we should meditate on what God has done (Psa 143), vs. Meditating on the pleasures of past sin. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:15-18), not found in sin or the memory of sin.

While following Christ does lead to a change in lifestyle and progressive maturity (sanctification), it starts with the acknowledgement that we are sinners (Prov 20:9, I John 1:8) and that Christ alone is the atoning sacrifice for our sin (I John 2:2). Now, we are 'living sacrifices' (Rom 12:1-2).

As such, we should not see the memory of committing sin as 'good', even if something was pleasurable at the time. Sin is often pleasurable for the moment, which is why we constantly war with it (Rom 7:22-24). Yet sin is deceptive; it leads to death! (Rom 6:23) It is hostile to God's law (Rom 8:7). We are not just to avoid practicing sin, but to avoid approving of it present or past, in self or others (Rom 1:32).

To seek the enjoyment of past sin is much like saying, "Slavery to sin wasn't all that bad, I remember that sin fondly". This was what the Israelites did when God took them out of Egypt. Instead of remaining focused on God, who rescued them from slavery and provided their deliverance, they began obsessing over Egypt and what they had left behind.

Being human, we are not going to forget the past. Yet as followers of Christ we should take 'every thought captive' (II Cor 10:5) and evaluate these. We can examine our memories, taking the good and understanding the bad in light of Christ.

Here are some practical ways that we can re-evaluate our memories to how God sees them:

1) Memories of indulged sin

- We can be thankful that we are no longer identified by our sin

"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor catamites, nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God". I Cor 6:7-11

- We can pray for forgiveness if there be any way we are still indulging in the sin

- We can take captive any lies of Satan that seek to shame us or accuse us by remembering that God justifies us through Christ, and so there is no condemnation when we are in Christ Jesus (Rom 7:22-24, Rom 8:1)

- We can pray that we do not fall into any temptation these past memories may bring (Matt 6:11-13, Gal 6:1, Mark 14:38)

2) Memories of accidental sin

- We can be thankful that we now have the Holy Spirit to convict us when we sin 

- We can pray that God will reveal to us any iniquity or sin that we are unknowingly caught up in


We can remember the good happily, but examine our past behavior and see the sin rightly for what it is. This should not be an obssesive past-time or anything (as it is in the past, thanks to Christ!), but can be done when memories come up. We can remember the good but see the sin for what it is (agape love vs. Fornication, patience vs. Wrath, generosity g vs. Coveting, etc). The more we grow in Christ (II Pet 1:3-1, Eph 14:14-16), the easier it will be to test our past memories and thoughts and see them how God sees them (Rom 12:1-2).

January 31 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Imag0495 Lynn Willis Obedient Daughter of the High King of the Universe
Dear Sister,

When I read your question, two specific scriptural offerings came to my heart, Paul's 'thorn in his side', where he remains 'imperfect', wanting to boast of his personal accomplishments, and how he wrestled with this. With Paul, God uses satan to keep Paul humble, showing him the wrongness of that prideful attitude, and while Paul prayed for the Lord to remove this thorn, God left it because in Paul's weakness, and humility, God is strong and made stronger IN Paul, which glorifies God.

2 Corinthians 12:21: Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.

And the other was Romans 7... the entire chapter actually! But an excerpt speaks to how we view sin once we are living in and with Christ:

Romans 7:13: But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes. 14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

In reading both of these chapters you will see that how we view sin is a big part of being in Christ. If we exalt sin, we are allowing satan to use us to insult God and we must always keep in mind that God hates sin above all else - reason He had to deal with it in such a profound way (Jesus' sacrifice for our sins).

So I would say that unless you look back on the sinful things you did with repentance and remorse then yes, in my humble opinion, it is wrong to exalt sin and glorify it as a Christian.

in HIM,

January 31 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

1422455214 Allison Carr
I really don't know. I would say No, because it's funny when you look back in the past and just laugh about it. God already token care of it so just laugh about your mistake.

January 30 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio kiki titus
It is sin, if we ponder about our past mistakes. When we gave our sins to Christ on the cross, it should be buried. As the bible says.

Sometimes, events, people, places or names etc remind us of those evil past things. As a Christian, phase it out completely whenever it appears from the horizon of the mind.

Where the Mind goes, the man follows.

January 31 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Steve Friesen
There are times when I look behind me at the life I've lived to this point and I cringe at some of the things that I've done. Or sometimes I'll just be grateful to God for his grace and the new life that he's given me. Then there are things that I'll look back on and chuckle at myself and think, "How could I have been so ridiculous". I think that those times are an indication that I'm comfortable (at rest) in God's grace, mercy, and love and not one bit an indication that I take sin lightly.

April 03 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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