I know God is supposed to forgive us, but I did some really bad things when I was younger that constantly haunt me, and I know God will never forgive me. I don't even know why I'm writing you, but maybe you can at least help me stop hating myself so much for what I did. — R.F.
Let me ask you a question: Does God hate you? From what you say, I think you'd probably say, "Yes, God hates me. He must hate me - because how could He do anything else after all the bad things I've done?" But you would be wrong! God hates all sin, no matter how great or small it is in our eyes. But God doesn't hate the sinner! God loves the sinner - not because of what they've done, but in spite of what they've done! The Bible says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). This is true for you, and it is true for every person on this planet.
We have a hard time believing this, I know, because we don't think this way on a human level. If someone hurts us, our natural instinct is to hate them and strike back at them. But God isn't like this. How do I know? I know it because God sent His only Son into the world to give His life for us. The Bible says, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, all your sins - even the terrible ones that haunt you - were placed on Him, and He took upon Himself the judgment you deserve. God loves you that much! Don't carry this burden any longer, but by faith open your heart to Christ and receive Him into your life today.