Does guilt ambush you, cutting you down at every turn? Is it like a heavy chain around your neck, holding you down in a quicksand of discouragement and despair? Does it lurk in the dark recesses of your heart, smothering out the Truth as it is in Christ Jesus?
There are two kinds of guilt. The real guilt because of committed offenses and the unrealistic guilt for imagined offenses out of feelings of inadequacy.
I am truly guilty of sin in my life and deserve condemnation. But Jesus has come to pay that price for me. He delivers me from all guilt. However, I don’t always embrace this with my whole heart. I still stew over things I failed to do or I have done that I should have done better. And I badger myself over wrong or selfish thoughts and actions, either past or present, that sometimes invade my life.
But I also have much of the unrealistic guilt. Sometimes my husband says, “There you go again… Guilt…” He says the word “guilt” is definitely in my vocabulary as I’m always feeling so guilty about everything, whether it’s something I do or something I don’t do. And I know he’s right. I am always beating myself up for something or other, and the root of the problem is an ingrained mindset of inadequacy and shame.
In My One Word for 2015, I listed under #4 of “What does the word FOLLOW mean for me in 2015?”
To swallow Truth and spew out lies. Too easily I am led along by negative voices, either from my own insecurity or from the devil who wants to discourage me. I want to follow God’s Truth with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to keep a tight grasp on who I really am in Him.
Whether our guilt is realistic or unrealistic, Satan works overtime to discourage us from remembering our freedom from the captivity of all guilt through Christ. He has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy us. He is happy as long as we continue to live within the disability and destruction of shame inside us, because then we won’t be thinking about Jesus and His freeing power.
But the Truth? Jesus has already paid for every one of our offenses – past, present, and future – and He doesn’t want us to heap either real or imagined guilt upon ourselves. He wants us to swallow this Truth He gives us:
❤︎ “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
No condemnation. God does not damn us or pronounce us guilty, because the Spirit of life has already set us free from the law of sin and death. (verse 2) We are guilt-free from both real and imagined guilt.
So why won’t my heart fully and freely swallow that and let it nourish my soul? What is holding me back? I’m not sure, except I think that for some reason I still feel like I should be punished. But that is a lie I tell myself, because the truth is Jesus’ love has made me worthy of being guilt-free. And maybe I’m still striving too much to “earn” freedom instead of accepting it with an open heart as freely given through Jesus’ sacrifice for me.
I definitely need to focus more this year on following and swallowing God’s promises and spewing out the lies that ravage my heart. I need to learn more to “be” who God created me to be and not be so consumed with doing. I need to rest myself more in my identity in Jesus. Another Truth to swallow…
❤︎ “Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you.” Isaiah 43:4
I hope that we can journey together this year collectively clinging to the freedom we have in Christ and letting go of the guilt that condemns us and threatens to consume us. The guilt that keeps us from following Jesus fully, joyously, and freely with great purpose. The guilt Jesus already took upon Himself in our place and doesn’t want us to try to carry ourselves. He loves us so deeply and He cries for us when we keep heaping guilt upon ourselves, whether real or unrealistic. He rejoices when we can lay this heavy burden at the foot of the Cross and believe His sacrifice is truly meant for us. No condemnation, because He has freed us!
Praying we will swallow the Truth
that Jesus does NOT condemn us!
Linking up with:
Holley – Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer – Tell His Story
Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith
Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews