Have you ever felt guilty about something? You know you messed up and you have that knot in your stomach that just won’t go away. What about the feeling of guilt that you haven’t been able to shake for a long time due to one mistake that has bothered you for years?
Believe me, I know the feeling. In fact, I know it too well. When I’ve done something wrong even after I have asked forgiveness for that very thing there is the haunting thought that comes, “You’ve messed up too much this time. Now, you must spend the rest of your life in misery thinking that you will never be able to ever be used by God. You will never fully receive all the desires of your heart and you must watch everyone else enjoy life and get whatever their heart desires because they have done things the right way.”
This is one of the biggest lies that someone can believe. God never intended for us to live in guilt and shame. There are so many wonderful examples in the Bible of people who have messed up. When they encountered Jesus, the only person who had not sinned and lived life perfectly they knew he could have condemned them. Instead, He did the opposite by showing them love and forgiveness. For example, the woman who was caught in the act of adultery.
While He was teaching, the scribes and Pharisees brought in a woman who was caught in the act of adultery; and they stood her before Jesus. Pharisees: Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. Moses says in the law that we are to kill such women by stoning. What do You say about it? This was all set up as a test for Jesus; His answers would give them grounds to accuse Him of crimes against Moses’ law. Jesus bent over and wrote something in the dirt with His finger. They persisted in badgering Jesus, so He stood up straight. Jesus: Let the first stone be thrown by the one among you who has not sinned. Once again Jesus bent down to the ground and resumed writing with His finger. The Pharisees who heard Him stood still for a few moments and then began to leave slowly, one by one, beginning with the older men. Eventually only Jesus and the woman remained, and Jesus looked up. Jesus: Dear woman, where is everyone? Are we alone? Did no one step forward to condemn you? Woman Caught in Adultery: Lord, no one has condemned me. Jesus: Well, I do not condemn you either; all I ask is that you go and from now on avoid the sins that plague you.] -John 8:3-11
John 3:16-17 says, For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God’s Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever. For God did not send His Son into the world to say it is guilty. He sent His Son so the world might be saved from the punishment of sin by Him.
God knew even from the beginning of time that we would mess up. He also knew that no matter how hard we might try that we would never be able to reach perfection in our own strength. With that in mind He did the unthinkable by sending His son Jesus to stand in our place and take the punishment that we deserved upon Himself. He paid for our lives with His very own blood to show us how much He loves us and to release us from having to walk in guilt and shame for the rest of our lives because of our own sin.
There is a book that I have been reading that I would like to share with you it’s called the Power Of Right Believing by Joseph Prince. As I have been reading it, there have been some great little nuggets that have been helpful in the area of guilt and condemnation.
1. “Guilt and condemnation stop where the blood of Jesus has been shed.”-Joseph Prince
It is so easy to let the burden of guilt take over our lives when we sin. It’s hard to believe at times that when Jesus says, “you are forgiven”, you are truly forgiven. It’s easy to think well if I just work hard at being good long enough maybe God will look down from heaven and say okay you paid your dues now I will let you be forgiven. Even then, you find yourself failing again and getting back on the vicious carousel called “works”. His blood is enough!! You don’t have to pay anything; Jesus paid the price for you. All He requires of you is that you believe that you are forgiven. Receive His love, forgiveness and grace and watch your life transform into His image.
2. “When you allow God’s love to saturate your mind, it doesn’t matter what wrong believing, fears, or addictions are keeping you bound. His grace will begin to break them down. That is what happens when you have an encounter with your loving Savior. Everyone who encounters Jesus never leaves the same.”-Joseph Prince
When you spend time in the presence of Jesus, little by little the guilt, shame and condemnation will disappear. Because, you will begin to see Jesus for who He really is. He came to save you from destruction not to show you how horrible you are and how you don’t deserve to live.
Micah 7 says, You will throw away all our sins into the deepest part of the sea.
Isaiah 43:25 says, I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake
and will never think of them again.
And finally Psalms 103:12 says, He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.