The Captivity of Guilt and Freedom in Christ

no condemnation

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!

“No Condemnation”

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

My One Word for 2015: Follow


First of all, I want to wish you all a Blessed New Year. If you are hurting right now, I pray your heavy load will be lifted and you will find peace in Jesus! I wish you all loads of love, peace, and joy in 2015!

Looking back over the past year of writing, I have so much to be grateful for. When I read WordPress’ year-end report for 2014, I was awed to see visitors came here from 93 different countries. Thank you all for taking the time to stop in at my site. Whether you commented or not, I hope you have received hope in Jesus. And thank you for caring thoughts, prayers, and encouragement. They have confirmed to me that God wants me to keep on writing here. May I ask you to pray for me? That I will write only with an eye to His glory and not my own?

My One Word for 2014 was TRUST. As we neared the end of another year, I had to ask, “Lord, have I grown at all in trusting You?” Sometimes I think I do trust Him more to be a loving Father with pure intentions, but I have trouble still with placing my whole heart and life in His hands. I remain a work in progress. One day, when I am with Jesus forever, I will finally come to trust completely – no fears, no hesitations, no reservations. What a glorious day that will be!

As 2014 neared its end, my heart struggled to find a word for 2015. What do I want to focus on? What is lacking in my life? And so many words jumbled together in my mind.

Then I woke up on New Year’s Day facing the uncertainties of what 2015 would bring. I prayed that I would follow Jesus, not always try to run ahead of Him. As I discussed this with my husband, he repeated the phrase we love to remind ourselves of – “I don’t need to understand; I just need to hold Your hand.”

Yes! This is what I need throughout the year. To FOLLOW Jesus! To more and more give up my own way and surrender to His way. To cling to His hand, to not let go to find my own paths.

So easily I make my plan and then ask the Lord to bless it instead of waiting quietly at Jesus’ feet to hear what His plan for my life is and then take His hand and follow.

Then Jesus said to His disciples,
“Whoever wants to be My disciple
must deny themselves and
take up their cross and follow Me.”
Matthew 16:24

So what does the word “FOLLOW” mean for me in 2015?

  1. To surrender to God’s plans and let go of mine. I need to let go of my self-made plans and let Jesus direct me according to His plans for me. To trust Him, to cling to His hand, and follow Him in whichever paths He leads me.
  2. To strive for God’s glory, not mine. I want to let go of selfish desires. I often confuse “selfish” with anything I do for myself. But God’s plan is clearly written in His Word that I should take care of myself. I need to search my heart and sort out what selfish really means. Selfish is anything that elevates myself more than God. Specifically, I want to stop striving for approval and validation from people, longing to be recognized and elevated, and to focus on glorifying God in all I do, say, think, or write.
  3. To focus on the cross Jesus carried for me and be willing to follow His footsteps. To be willing to die to myself out of love for Him and for hurting souls. To accept what happens in my life as guided by His hand of love. To believe that no matter what happens, it is meant to prosper me and mold me more into His image and to His glory.
  4. 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.

Do you have a word you’d like to focus on this year? What does it mean for you?


“You Lead, I’ll Follow”
By Jamie Grace


Praying we will hang onto Jesus’ hand
and let Him lead us!



Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews