There's Only One Way to Get Rid of Guilt
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities . . . All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” (Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB).
Every one of us has a good reason to feel guilt. No one does everything right! We hurt other people. We act selfishly. Often the most unkind things we say are to the people we love the most.
Just like you can’t hide your sins from God, you can’t hide your guilt over your sins from him either. Not only that, but when you try to cover up your guilty feelings, they start to eat at you on the inside.
Only one thing works to get rid of guilt: Confess your sins, and trust in God’s forgiveness. The word confession in the Bible in Greek is homologeo. Homo means same. Logeo means to speak. So confession simply means to agree with God. “You’re right, God. I was wrong.”
Everything you’re going to do wrong—including the stuff you’re going to do tonight, tomorrow, next week, and 10 years from now—has already been paid for. That is the goodness of God.
Jesus takes all your guilt on himself. He gives you his goodness, also called righteousness. This is the most basic, fundamental truth of the Bible: Your broken soul becomes whole again in him.
The Bible says in Isaiah 53:5-6, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities . . . All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” (NASB).
If you don’t feel forgiven, it means you don’t fully understand God’s goodness. When Jesus died, he covered all your sins, threw them into the deepest part of the sea, and put up a “No Fishing” sign. If you’ve confessed your sin to God, why would you drag it out when God has already forgiven and forgotten it?
Talk It Over
What are some common but unhealthy ways we try to handle guilt?
Is there guilt you need to let go of today? What is holding you back from making that choice?
Why is joy a natural result of understanding God’s grace?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.