GUILT THAT LEADS TO FREEDOM
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. Roman 7:7
The law is really my friend. It’s true. Without an awareness of God’s moral plumb line, I wouldn’t know what sin is. Without sin, there wouldn’t be guilt. Without guilt, there wouldn’t be a need. Without need, I wouldn’t seek a Savior.
Sometimes putting it another way drives the point home. With an awareness of God’s righteous judgments, I understand that I have sinned. Because I have sinned, I feel guilty. Because I feel guilty, I have a need to be reconciled to God. Because I seek peace between us, I pursue a Savior who can not only forgive my sins, but wash them away and give me His righteousness.
Guilt is a good thing if this is the result. Guilt can turn into a bad thing if I believe Satan that my sins are too severe for God’s forgiveness. What started out as productive guilt can become a tormenting guilt as the ‘accuser’ holds my failure up to my face day after day. Convinced that God can’t possibly forgive ‘that thing’, I hate myself and never know the freedom and joy that Jesus offers.
If I was the family scapegoat, if everything was made to be my fault, then I have an over-reactive guilt trigger. I can feel guilty over things that aren’t my fault. How do I know if God is speaking to me about sin or Satan is speaking to me in order to lead me down a bad trail? Here is what I’ve discovered because I was/am one who feels guilty easily. God’s forgiveness is swift; joy is on the other side. God leads me to an awareness of my sin in order for me to feel remorse. Once I repent, He extends forgiveness and the issue is over.
Satan induced guilt however is one that has no resolution or closure. It’s that nagging sense of ‘being bad’ that never allows the truth to change my mind. I believe I don’t just do bad things, I am bad.
Guilt can be productive if it leads me to the cross. But guilt can also be destructive if I live in the bondage of self-condemnation.
The law was good. It led me to You. You danced on the day I trusted You to wash my sins away. Let Your joy infect me so that I will cast the sins of my past into the depths of the sea. Amen