Tag Archives: Guilt

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Encouraging Words…For Guilt

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God’s Encouraging Word…

When I am Burdened with Guilt

Megan’s past weighed heavily on her conscience.  She lived under a soul-crushing conviction that the death of her nine-year-old daughter was the way God paid her back for her terrible life choices.

Nick resigned to live the rest of his life in despair.  His wife had begged him to get help for his alcoholism through their entire marriage.  Now she was gone and so was any opportunity to make up for the time he had lost because he was a lousy husband and father.  It was too late.

Johnny’s head hung low as he dissolved into tears.  When he looked up, he asked, “What kind of person would steal from his own family?”  He knew the answer.  That’s why he sobbed.

Do you feel guilt?  Does it hit you like a wrecking ball when you are confronted with the horrifying truth of how much damage and pain you’ve caused?  Does it leave you hopeless because you are faced with the fact that you’re never going to be the person you know you should be?  That if there is a God who is holy and perfect and expects the same of his people, then you are a failure and you don’t deserve anything good from him?

You should know something about all those people mentioned above.  They all found relief from guilt.  They found it in the only place it can be found—in that holy, perfect God who pledges, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

You might think your sins and weaknesses define you.  They don’t.  Not in God’s eyes.  You know how you highlight a phrase and then hit “delete” when you are editing a document?  God did that with your sins, that is, all your mistakes and your failures to be kind and love others.  He not only doesn’t see them anymore, he doesn’t even remember them.  He doesn’t recall the worst things you’ve done or your habitual failings.  Your sins not only don’t define you to God, they don’t condemn you to his punishment either.

How is that possible?  God loved you with a love so amazing that he charged his Son, Jesus, with your sins and punished him in your place.  All of the ways you have sinned or ever will sin have been paid for.  They are not on your record or clinging to your identity anymore.

Believe it. In Jesus, you can live unburdened by guilt and with a joyful freedom of forgiveness.


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Truths from the Bible – All Struggle

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“I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

Did you recognize the quote?  If you had to guess who said it, who would you choose?  A strung-out addict who has had her children removed from her home? The locked-up, orange-suited prisoner whose weathered faced betrays a heart bombarded by depression and guilt?  The honored pastor of a local church?

What about yourself? Do you struggle with thoughts that depress you and steal joy from your life?  Are you ashamed of how selfish you can be and how little you have really loved those closest to you?  Do you become anxious and overwhelmed when you consider how others perceive you and what their estimations of your worth would be? Do you sometimes wonder if you are wretched? Do those thoughts keep you from exploring and engaging in a church?  Do they make you feel as if you don’t belong there?

The quote is from nearly 2000 years ago. It was said by a man named Paul, an inspirational and instrumental leader of the earliest Christian churches. It has been echoed by the confessions of many Christians since. Right before he said that, Paul explained what else he knew about himself: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.”

Yes, even Christians struggle with depressing thoughts, guilt over their failures to love, and the fearful knowledge that their worth is tarnished by wrong.  Yes, even Christians stumble and do things their hearts, made new through Jesus, don’t want to do. It frustrates them too!  Yet, Paul asked an important question, one that Christians also ask: “Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

To that there is an answer full of good news! “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Though we struggle each day, each day God forgives because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice that was complete payment for all our wrongs. When God brings people to faith in Christ, he covers them with Christ’s forgiveness and counts them as completely holy – right with him. He creates in them a new heart that loves him and wants to walk in his ways. As we live in this life, the old, sinful self we have carried around since birth clings with tenacity and desires to do what is evil. It fights against the good desires of the new heart God creates within us. Even though you struggle now, you can look forward to when Jesus will come and take you to be with him in heaven. Then there will be no depressing thoughts, no shame and guilt, no anxiety over your worth – not around you nor inside of you.

If you struggle now, keep asking the question to which you God has given an incredible answer: “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Jesus Christ is your Savior.  Jesus Christ has covered you with his mercy and forgiveness. If you struggle now, find a place filled with those who also struggle, but cling to that wonderful answer.  Find a group who put their trust fully in Jesus Christ and give thanks to God for his gift.

 

I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. … What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! – Romans 7:18-19, 24-25


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