Dealing with Guilt
Guilt can be false or legitimate. But in either case, its effect on us is the same.
Feeling ashamed can lead us to doubt God’s presence, provision, or promises. We might struggle to believe He loves us, and if the emotions are strong enough, we may even question our salvation. Guilt can cause us to forget we are free from condemnation (Rom. 8:1) and can make us fearful that God is judging us harshly.
Another response to self-reproach is to try and pay the Lord back for our real or imagined mistakes. To earn His approval, we get compulsively busy and stay that way. Then, there’s remorse over “shoulds,” “oughts,” and “musts”—guilt over unfinished tasks can rob us of pleasure in our relationships, as we question our use of time. Such self-condemnation can lead to discouragement and depression.
Because of guilt’s corrosive power, we need to take care of it quickly. When we have broken God’s commands, the solution is to repent and accept the Lord’s forgiveness. False guilt, on the other hand, is erased by embracing biblical truth:
I am special. God chose me and is transforming me into Christ’s image.
I am loved. God loves me unconditionally, unalterably, and continuously.
I am forgiven. Jesus paid the full price for my every sin. God has permanently forgiven me and adopted me into His family.
God has provided a way out from the burden of guilt you carry. Won’t you accept His offer?