Here’s the thing, I am struggling through this right now.
In fact, most of what I right about here are the things I am wrestling with. This place is where I have chosen to share the joys, frustrations, triumphs and failures I experience as a Christian.
I’m not an expert. I don’t have it all together. I’m a work in progress.
So when I do a series where I talk about one of those areas I’m progressing in, I feel this pressure to tie it all up in a neat little package. To offer you:
Three Easy Steps to Throw Off Guilt
But then I would feel like a hypocrite, because I’m finding that there’s no easy steps. I can’t give you magic words that will erase the pain you see in someone’s eyes when you let them down. I have no prescription to break up the ball in the pit of your stomach; the one that forms when you’ve stumbled again. I have nothing to offer you.
He brings freedom. He offers compassion. He gives grace.
So I’ll let Him do the talking, and sit back and listen. I pray that these Scriptures speak to you in the same way God spoke to me through them.
…and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens…But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. Ezra 9:6, 8 (emphasis mine)
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (emphasis mine)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (emphasis mine)
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (emphasis mine)
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away,
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD;”
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. Psalm 32:3-5 (emphasis mine)
The only way to shake off the feelings of guilt that can plague us is to acknowledge our sin to Him, to confess, and then receive His forgiveness.
We are forgiven.
We can come boldly.
We must proclaim His mercy over us.
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, there will be times when the Holy Spirit convicts us. A scripture, a word of knowledge, a sermon, anything can be used by God to highlight an area in our life where we are straying from His perfect will.
However, the conviction of the Holy Spirit leads to repentance and restoration, not the shame and division that comes from guilt.
We tend to be harder on ourselves than we are on others, or than others are on us. We must learn to accept the grace and forgiveness that God has given us through the work of Jesus on the cross.
Daily, weekly, consistently the process of handing our guilt to God must be repeated. There’s no quick-fix; no insta-millionaire. We walk, lead by the Holy Spirit, the path of repentance and forgiveness.
I’ve shared this video of my husband singing Joseph Hart’s “Come Ye Sinners” before, but I felt like this song so perfectly illustrates the call of God to us.
We all are sinners, saved by grace. In those times of guilt and shame, we need to arise and go to Jesus, so He can embrace us in His arms. And don’t ignore the warning in the song…
Come, ye weary, heavy-laden, bruised and ruined by the Fall. If you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all
Do you find it harder to give grace or to receive grace?
What Scriptures do you turn to when you need to be reminded of God’s grace and mercy?