As you read this, is there anything you currently feel guilty about? Pause for a moment… let your mind fix on that thing or those things you have done that ignite your guilt. There are a couple of ways you can decide how to deal with that guilt.
The Natural Response
The first is what is called the natural response because it comes naturally to us, which is that you deny the emotion and try to convince yourself that deep down you are a good person. Guilt is such an uncomfortable experience that you can react by trying to silence the pain and the embarrassment it causes you. The discomfort of guilt is like a huge spotlight being pointed directly at you, where you can immediately feel the heat of that burning light and the light even feels heavy. There you stand lit up by your conscience, which is part of who you are. Your response in that moment is to maybe try and smash that light by telling yourself you are, deep down, a good person and it’s due to your circumstances that you did what you did. Maybe you blame your upbringing or difficult things in your past, maybe right now as you are reading this you can hear yourself defending your actions. You can, of course, decide to run away from this light in a thousand different directions, possibly one of the worst directions is that you tell yourself to try harder or be a better person on your own efforts. I would like to encourage you to try face that light bravely (Hebrews 4:16) and honestly. The second response explains how to respond honestly.
The Honest Response
The second and only other option you have is to respond by honestly admitting your guilt. Now, as you are reading this you are probably alone and not standing in a courtroom or in front of a police officer or the person you have hurt. So, who must you start being honest with? Do you start by finding every single person you have ever lied to, spoken badly about, hated in your heart, wished suffering on or worse wished them dead? Should you find every person you ever slept with or used for your own selfish pleasures? You cannot take all this back, you cannot undo the sin you have done. Should you pay the money back you stole or delete your internet history as though that might undo what you have done?
You need to start by being honest with yourself and admitting your guilt, you then need to ask for forgiveness. Now, here is the most important step! The one you need to ask forgiveness from is the God of heaven and earth. The Lord teaches us in his word that none of us is good, Romans 3:10-12 we are faced here with a decision, to be honest about what we have done and who we really are. The question before you now is - Do you want to be right with God? In other words, in a right relationship with God?
Watch the video below next and then continue reading...
Your guilt, therefore, will lead you to either be honest and face the reality of your sins or lead you to deny any problem exists. You always have a choice because you are an autonomous (fallen) creature, in your brokenness you go about defining right and wrong for yourself, which is very dangerous. We need to turn to Jesus who is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6).
The Lord Jesus tells us to open our ears and to listen (Matthew 13:15 Mark 4:23) and then to act and do what we know is finally the right thing to do. The decision you make, based on what you are hearing right now, is the most important decision of your life as it affects your never dying soul. The truth of your situation is that you are currently a citizen of the kingdom of darkness Colossians 1:13, Matthew 8:12 and Revelation 16:10. What you need to do now is escape and become a citizen of the kingdom of light. Read this amazing verse, Romans 13:12 it is saying, the night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.
There are two deep truths here, which you need to really grasp. I encourage you, at this is very moment, to pray that God will reveal this truth to you and that your eyes will be opened. Ask God to show you and to help you see, ask the Lord to save you, confess your sins to Jesus and ask him to wash your guilt clean and to give you a new heart.
Continue to keep seeking the truth, and telling the truth, keep asking God to be with you and to help you and guide you. Jesus said, we must knock and the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7) that we must keep seeking. Remember that the truth will set you free, see John 8:32
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (ESV)
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