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
12 thoughts on “The Captivity of Guilt and Freedom in Christ”
I too want to grab hold of the truth of not being condemned. I believe it and then my mind goes back to feeling shamed. THank you for this beautiful reminder. CHeering you!
It’s so hard to keep believing it when our mind’s default mode is shame, isn’t it? But step by step, as we replace those lies with the Truth, we’ll come to believe it more often. God is so patient and faithful! Cheering you on, too, Kelly! 💗
These words:”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” – well, my friend, I thought you’d been eavesdropping at my house, lol! Also guilty as charged, also grateful beyond measure for God’s grace, and also struggling to see myself fully forgiven, fully free.
False guilt steals away our joy and heaps hot coals of condemnation on our heads. Yet the cool, refreshing waters of God’s grace and love flow soothingly into our souls. Trudy, I may not have the same ‘word’ as you this year, but I do have a similar need to see myself as God sees me. I’m right here with you as we battle through to truly see ourselves as restored and forgiven and “collectively clinging to the freedom we have in Christ and letting go of the guilt that condemns us and threatens to consume us. ” Amen! xox ❤
It comforts me to know I have a kindred spirit! Thank you for understanding me so well. It’s sure hard to kick that condemning spirit out, isn’t it? Yes, together we will cling to that freedom in Christ! In Him we are guilt-free! Yes, may those “cool, refreshing waters of God’s grace and love flow soothingly into our souls!” Thank you for stopping by, Joy. I’m glad you’re feeling some better.
I’m so glad we’re on this journey together to live more in the freedom of our true identity in Christ…it is a process but we’ve both taken the first step because we’re aware of our need to rest in our real identity which is not one steeped in guilt…Blessed new year to you 🙂
Thank you for the encouragement that we’ve already taken the first step when we’re aware of our need to rest in our real identity. Sometimes it feels like I don’t advance much when I keep slipping back into that trap. Happy to be on this journey with you, Dolly. Blessed new year to you, too! May it be filled with many steps to freedom! 💗
Hi Trudy! I am the queen of guilt. I can make up things to feel bad about, and my husband also does his best to correct me. I’m not too sure why I do that either, but it might have to do with being picked on as a child. You just never know why your are being pestered, so you keep looking for what could possibly be wrong? Well, it’s a theory anyway.
Part of having faith is letting go. Unless I’m ready to truly hand over the reins to Jesus, I’ll just keep trying to drive and falling under the weight of guilt and fear. Blech. I like your idea of getting rid of all the negative and starting to live the life of a precious daughter. Because that’s who we are!
I’m sorry you were picked on as a child, Ceil. That can really hurt and carry over into adulthood. But you’ve turned out to be a beautiful, caring woman who encourages. 🙂 I think we both better throw in our queen of guilt crowns at the feet of the Cross and live as the guilt-free princesses God made us to be. Wouldn’t that be grand to hang onto that truth? I long to live as a victory dancer, not merely as a survivor laden with guilt. Perhaps we should all join arms and dance a jig, proclaiming our identity in Christ! 💗
I think guilt is something a lot of women can relate to. As you say, I believe it’s in the evil one’s tool box of ways to drag us down and away from God. But talking about it and using scripture to remind us of the truth are great ways to dispel the lies of guilt. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us!
Jenni @ http://genuflected.com/
Hi Jenni. Yes, we need to daily use Scripture to remind us of the Truth, don’t we? I read your wonderful testimony of learning to give over your plans and trust God with His. What an awful thing to go through though! I pray your son will be completely healed and you will be given strength for each day!
Thank you so much, Trudy! God answers the prayers of His people, and they have given us so much strength and peace along the way. It makes my day when someone says they will pray for us. Glad to have found you today!
🙂 A friend of mine visited me this morning, and we discussed the power of prayer. Not as of ourselves, but when we pray through Jesus, there is power.