How often do you commit a sin, and then fail to find a way to move past the regret and shame you feel? Most people wrestle with guilt from time to time.
The dictionary defines guilt as 1.) "the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, esp. against moral or penal law" and 2.) "a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined."1 In other words, guilt has two components—the actual offense and the feelings that accompany it.
A. Handling our Guilt. Once we start to feel remorseful about our wrongdoing, we often fail to respond to our guilt in a healthy manner.
- Read about David's experience with guilt in Psalm 32:1-6.
How can you escape these negative patterns of dealing with guilt? The secret is to train your mind to believe God's truth—found in His Word—instead of your feelings.
- Acts 10:43 says everyone who believes in Christ receives forgiveness for his or her sins. All sins that we confesss are forgiven (Colossians 2:13).
Closing: Christ's death made a way for you to be completely free from the guilt of sin—not only the offense but also the feelings that accompany it. Admit your guilt to God and those you offended, make restitution when you can, and return to living in a manner that pleases the Lord.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your amazing grace that covers our sin. We never have to wallow in feelings of guilt. Remind us to turn to You, focusing on the truth in your Word, instead of trusting our emotions. I pray this in Jesus' name, amen.
I read this today on Charles Stanley's website (story reference) and it was written by him.