What Do We Do With Guilt?

Too many times, even as a follower of Jesus, I am engaged in a wrestling match with myself. Is that ever true for you as well?

Over time, I have discovered, as I surrender my will to the Lord God, He helps me conquer one sin after another. Yet, sometimes a pet sin will squirm free and start coming at me all over again.

Paul the missionary apostle had this struggle and wrote about it in Romans 7:21-25 (TLB),

“It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.

So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”

So, What Do We Do With Guilt?

Sometimes we deal with guilt by convincing ourselves what we did was not so wrong. Or we might distract ourselves from honestly addressing the wrong, not dealing with it at all. Just letting it go.

These ways are just minimizing accountability for our sin. We can rationalize it, or justify it, telling ourselves it’s not a big deal. We can compare ourselves to others, that we’re not as bad as another person we know. These are excuses we expect God to accept from us, even though we would never accept them from anyone else.

Micah 7:18 declares, “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.”

Don’t miss out on the power of confession to God. “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Follow up the confessing of your sin with turning away from the sin that has won this battle. Ask God for the help of His Holy Spirit and use His Word, verses from the Bible, as a sword. Resist evil and flee temptation as you continue the war against the enemy’s lies and temptations.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (TLB) is a powerful verse to think about…

“But remember this—the wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation’s power so that you can bear up patiently against it.”

Don’t Wallow In Guilt

Wallowing in guilt is actually a subtle form of pride because the focus is on you, not on God. It’s focusing on your failures, rather than on God and His goodness. Turn your attention from your shame to God’s grace, His undeserved favour and love given to you through what Jesus Christ, our Saviour did on the cross. Jesus paid the debt for the sins we commit. Now take your eyes off of your past, even recent failures, and continue to focus on King Jesus and promoting the Kingdom of God.

How does it benefit the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to have His wounded, hurting warriors continue slashing themselves with their enemies condemning words? Don’t replay your pain. Allow God to do what He does best, to heal your hurting soul.

Let’s humbly accept God’s forgiveness. No matter how far you fall, God’s “grace” goes deeper. No matter what you’ve done, God’s love is greater. God’s grace, given through Jesus, sets us free from guilt and shame.

King David, confessed his sins, and was called a “man after God’s own heart.”

Thank you God for sending Jesus to die for my sins. Thank you Jesus for giving your life, your shed blood to cover my sins. Thank you God that when Jesus’ blood covers my sins, you do not remember them any more.

1 John 1:9 (TLB) promises…

“But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.”

Yes, Lord, I’ve sinned, but you’ve forgiven me forever.

I love you God! I love you Jesus!

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