Guilt is an emotion that we take on early in life, especially if we grow up surrounded by violent behavior and abuse. Even though we are powerless to stop the violence, we feel responsible for what is happening.
A man recently told me this story:
When he was 12 years old, he was caught stealing a chrome oil cap for one of his friend’s car. After picking him up at the police station, his father lined up all his brothers and sisters in the kitchen to witness the punishment. He asked the child what hand he used to steal the oil cap. His father took that hand and placed in directly into gas burner on the stove. He told me he hasn’t stolen anything since that day. He received 3rd degree burns. As a 55 year old man, he still carries that guilt around his neck like a large stone.
You see, guilt feels terrible…we all know that. But a bigger problem is how this ongoing guilt really distorts our view of ourselves and what we were made for, who God wants and is working for us to become. The worst problem is how this ongoing, gnawing guilt really distorts and limits our view of God…makes Him seem impotent to free us…constantly judgmental and angry at us for our transgressions…or demanding perfection and us to constantly work our way back into His “graces”.
We can take our guilt, real or imagined, to the cross. Jesus paid the price in full to set us free from condemnation. The things we did do wrong have consequences, but we can be set free from real or imagined guilt as we receive the wonderful grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, bring your pain and guilt to the cross. Really look at who the God of the Bible is and how His cup of forgiveness always runneth over for you. Let the love and grace of Jesus cleanse you and set you free. Click here to share your perspective on the guilt in your life.
Dear Father God, thank You for Your love and grace. I bring my failures and my guilt to You and ask forgiveness. I know that some of the guilt is imagined, but it still haunts me. Help me to leave it at the foot of the cross. Help me to clearly see You and me and respond accordingly, as You designed. Thanks for always giving me second chances. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One You sent to forgive my sins and erase my guilt, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9