I've made some poor choices at various moments in the past, have gone through the repentance process for them, and have felt forgiveness.
Why then am I still so easily tempted by those same things?
It's a curiosity that I have noticed with the whole repentance process. Just because you have recognized your errors, corrected them and have felt the Spirit confirm your forgiveness, doesn't mean that you aren't bothered by that temptation any more. I'm sorry, but people who say that you aren't bothered with that temptation any more are full of crap. Their claim is that a true change of heart includes a numbing of your susceptibility to that sin. In some cases that may be true, but for the majority of cases I disagree.
For example, I recently spoke with someone who was a smoker in her teenage years, but gave it up in her mid twenties. She joined the church several years later, and is now a fully active, righteous, endowed member in her late 30s. She told me that even though it has been nearly 15 years since she gave up smoking, every once in a while (2 or 3 times per year is all) she still gets horrible cravings for a cigarette.
When we repent of our sins, the Lord has promised us that he will remember them no more. We are promised forgiveness if we don't return to that sin. But, if we do commit that sin again, all of the previous sins are lumped back on us.
Sometimes when I become a repeat offender of something I've done in the past and repented of, I sometimes get the feeling of why should I bother trying to repent, I keep on screwing up. I know, I know, blah, blah, blah, it's the devil telling you that, yadda, yadda, yadda.
But honestly, it's hard not to get down on yourself when you have a weakness that keeps on resurfacing, no matter how hard you've tried to overcome it - no matter how many times you've repented of it, and felt true forgiveness.
Blegh. Sounds like I have a case of the Mondays...