Grace Meets Guilt
Pastor Norman Curlee, Word Alive Church
Guilt is a universal language that we all experience somewhere along life’s journey. However, God never intended for those who trust in His amazing grace to live life under the cloud of guilt. Regardless of whether or not your guilt is from what is often called “Objective Guilt” (resulting from the breaking of a law) or “Subjective Guilt” (resulting from feelings of remorse and self-condemnation), God has provided a door of hope and healing so that you can move forward with a healthy outlook toward your future.
First begin by asking yourself what may be the cause of such feelings of guilt? It could be the environment in which you were reared that unknowingly was out of balance with poor role models, criticism, anger, physical or emotional abuse, guilt, and fear ridden, rather than good role models, security, warmth, acceptance and encouragement. It could be due to a poor decision you made that resulted in consequences that produced ongoing guilt. Perhaps there were peers who placed expectations that required you to go against your personal moral standards and thereby created feelings of guilt in you as you sought their approval and acceptance. Regardless of the cause of your guilt, God is ready to let His grace meet your guilt.
Consider the story in the Bible in John 8:1-11 where a woman experiences both objective and subjective guilt. She had broken the law as well as being openly caught in the act of adultery which more than likely produced feelings of guilt and shame. Jesus comes and provides grace to meet guilt in her life:
First Jesus revealed that we ALL sinned and need forgiveness
John 8:7b “. . . If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”.
Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Secondly Jesus wants us to identify the cause of our guilt and know that he alone can cause it to cease from troubling us.
John 8:10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
2 Cor. 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret . . . “
Rev. 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”
Thirdly Jesus revealed to her the way out of guilt is through repentance, confession and change of behavior.
John 8:11b “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
God’s love is available right now to meet your feelings of guilt. The devil will always seek to remind you of your guilt, but we get to choose to dwell or not to dwell on those negative thoughts. Let God free you of any feelings of guilt by accepting his grace through his loving forgiveness. Be willing to forgive others as you accept God’s forgiveness. If you fall along the path, get up and know that God’s love is there to continue to carry you toward the destiny he has for your life.
* We invite you to visit us at Kingdom Builders Christian Center located in Southeast Columbia at 3100 Trotter Road, Hopkins, SC 29061. Our morning worship service is Sunday at 10:00a.m., and Wednesday at 7:00pm. Visit us on the web at Kingdom-Builders.com.