Have you heard of "testimony crimes?" Apparently young Christians are committing crimes to improve upon their testimony.
OK, that's an Onion-esque joke, but it's based on the truth that some people try to exaggerate their past sinfulness to make their conversion story more flashy. It's a silly idea that comes from our skewed notion of "big sins." You can make a case that God views pride, hate, and divisiveness as worse sins than stealing and adultery, but the latter are more of a big deal to our culture.
The opposite error is those believers who can't let go of their past, who continue to beat themselves up over things they did before they came to Christ.
The Bible tells us that believers are not the same people they were prior to their conversion. Before Christ, we do not want and cannot do the right things. Human beings are ruled by their carnal desires and a spirit that is opposed to God.
But in Christ we are "a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." The person who committed those sins no longer exists. Someone else now lives in that body.
We all have things in our past we wish hadn't happened. We all have things we wish we could forget. Sometimes we're still paying the temporal consequences for those choices. But with God, it's over. The debt has been paid, the sin is gone, and those things we regret have been cast as far away as "the east is from the west."
Have you struggled with forgiving yourself, or accepting God's forgiveness, for past sins? Or have you continued to hold BC sins against someone? Or has someone done that to you?
How did you get beyond it? What advice would you give to someone with this problem?