Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome, Guest Blogger Agent Kelly Mortimer!

Move Past Your Past
By Kelly Gottuso Mortimer

If you've never made a mistake, raise your hand. Okay, so I can’t see you, but I bet your hands are at your sides. [If not, raise your other hand, as ya just lied.]

The Bible tells us Jesus, although without blemish [in other words, He’s perfect], died on the Cross so us sinner-folk [Well, at least I'm one.] could gain eternal life, even though we make mistakes. Ridiculous! What a deal! Sound too good to be true? Mayhap. But it is true.

…For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. NIV - Colossians 1:13-14

So, if we ask for forgiveness, we have it. And we should ask for forgiveness. [Well, at least I should.] When we do, God cleans our slates--draws a line in the sand—forgives and forgets. So why can’t WE forgive ourselves? God has no trouble forgiving us; we have trouble forgiving us. [Well, at least I do.]

We insist on dragging our weighty baggage everywhere we go, believing ourselves unworthy. [Well, at least I do.] Are we worthy? No. Does God forgive us anyway? Yes. And when God grants forgiveness and we don’t accept it, we’re slappin’ God in the face. Bet you never thought of it that way. [Well, at least I did.]

Okay, try this. You ask your spouse, parents, whomever, for the most expensive gift in the world. They give you the gift [and it’s even beautifully wrapped], and you say thanks, but no thanks. I bet someone’s gonna get mad at you. [Well, at least I would.]

God gave you the most precious gift He could. Don’t throw the gift back at Him. Check your baggage in a locker and toss the key. Move past your past, and don’t look back. God isn’t behind you; He’s in front of you. Forgive yourself, and join Him.

1) Why do you think we find if so difficult to forgive ourselves?

2) Do you think living with guilt is healthy?

Grab a piece of paper [I needed an entire tablet] and a pen. Write down the sins you can’t seem to forgive yourself for. Read each item one-at-a-time. After each, thank God for forgiving that sin, and tell Him you accept His forgiveness. Then tear that part of the paper off, and throw it away. Continue until your hands are empty, which symbolizes the sins you hold against yourself. [None.]

Kelly Gottuso Mortimer of Mortimer Literary Agency represents clients in both the secular and inspirational markets for fiction and nonfiction works. She's A Top-5 Publisher's Marketplace Top 100 Dealmakers – Romance Category, an American Christian Fiction Writers “Literary Agent of the Year,” and a recipient of Romance Writers of America, Orange County Chapter’s “Volunteer of the Year” award. She’s the president and CEO of Underdog Press, "The Transparent Publisher," and in her spare time, she designs one-of-a-kind handbags for her business, Four Gals Designs. Kelly will never get the writer out of her. She loves to share her madcap adventures as "The Lucy Ricardo of the 21st Century" on her blog, and is currently writing the biography, Paula Jones: Making History, for Paula Jones.


  1. Hi Kelly,

    Long time no talk to. Did you know I have a pen name? Jill Nutter is Jillian Kent now. :)

    Guilt. Yuk! Sometimes I think my feelings of guilt stem from making wrong choices or what I perceive as wrong choices even if it was something out of my control. It can drive me nuts, but thankfully, our God has really helped me get a grip on that.

    Guilt can eat people alive, make us sick, give us ulcers, and paralyze us in our tracks. It can get us stuck and running in circles.

    I like your exercise here. When Katie was in the hospital once I loved that the chaplain took her to the chapel and had her make a list too and then she placed all her worries and guilt, etc. in a metal bowl and burned them, giving them up to God.

    Have a blessed Sunday.

  2. Hi Kelly! I'm so happy to see you here! (Hey, I'd love to be sitting in the Tiki Room with you! Wouldn't that be nice?)

    Thanks for your post this morning. What a powerful exercise. I hate thinking of those things that I have difficulty forgiving myself for, which gives them continued power over me, doesn't it? I am going to have to try this exercise soon. What a giving, glorious God we have, who forgives all our sins and loves us despite everything we've ever done.

    Wishing you a great day, Kelly.

  3. I did a Bible study this year that called guilt one of the four great sins, because it hinders us so much in our relationships with God. I think the others were fear, despair, and low self-esteem. Hmm, he talked a lot about forgiveness too. Anyway, all of those internal sins that pull as away from growing close to God. I have long lists of scriptures on each one being wrong if anyone is in doubt.

  4. I actually started to think I could say I had given over all those things and then I was reminded of one major regret in my life and the repercussions it could have. I think the devil hounds me about it because those repercussions are also my greatest fear.

    Kelly, thanks for posting with us today and the opportunity to (cliche alert...) call a spade a spade.

  5. Hey Kelly, isn't it funny that I can forgive the wrongs done to me (like abuse while a child), yet I have a hard time forgiving myself for simple things which don't even rate on the 'bad' scale? Or is it because with God, everything is either good or bad... there is no grey area? I know better and still I do things which don't please Him. I think that's where the guilt comes in ... I don't want to ask forgiveness until I know I'll never do it again. Or, I'll ask forgiveness, but what I'm really thinking is 'Will He believe me if I do it again?' I know He will, because the Bible says He will. Yet still, I hestitate. After all, it was such a minor thing... and I try so hard, but then I slip again... ugh!

    Anita Mae.

  6. Great post. I have never heard of doing the paper thing, but I think it is a good idea! Thanks.


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