You Don't Have to Live with Guilt
“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” (Proverbs 28:13 TLB)
God is always ready to give you another chance. That’s a bedrock piece of Christianity. We’ve all been irresponsible. We’ve all screwed up. The Bible tells us, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 NLT, second edition).
God doesn’t want you living with a heavy guilt trip about all the irresponsibility in your life. Guilt destroys your confidence, damages your relationships, keeps you stuck in the past, and even hurts your health. I read a report a few years back that said 70 percent of people in the hospital could leave if they knew how to resolve their guilt.
God wants far better for your life than that. You don’t want to live with guilt. And here’s an important truth to always hang on to: You don’t have to.
God wants you to live with a sense of promise and hope. God can even bring good out of the stupid decisions that you’ve made in your life if you’ll give those failures to Him.
How do you do that?
Admit to God you’ve made a mistake. It doesn’t surprise Him. And it won’t change His perception of you. I hope you’ll take this step today. When you do, here’s what you can expect from God:
- God forgives instantly. The very moment you admit your sin to God, He forgives you.
- God forgives freely. You don’t need to earn it, and you’ll never deserve it.
- God forgives completely. He wipes your sin absolutely clean.
If you’re mired in guilt and shame, you’ll likely perpetuate whatever problem you have. You’ll tell yourself that you blew it, so you’re bad. Since you’re bad, you believe you’ll blow it again. It’s a nasty cycle from which we often can’t seem to escape — at least not on our own.
You need a power beyond yourself. You need a Savior. You need Jesus.
Talk It Over
How have you seen guilt affect other people physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually?
What keeps you from asking God to forgive you?
What do you need to ask forgiveness for today?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.