Ah guilt! The gift that keeps on giving. Right?
Guilt is a powerful emotion that can overwhelm and paralyze us. We all struggle with something we have done or not done in our past. We have several ways to deal with past sin. We try to ignore it, explain it away, or do enough good works to cover that sin. Unfortunately, none of those methods will work.
When we ignore sin, it allows condemnation and guilt to build up in our lives, draining us and keeping us from moving forward. There is no explanation for our sin. We simply made the wrong choice. And we could never do enough good works to pay for our sin. But then Jesus came, and everything changed!
The Bible says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).
Have you ever heard of “Double Jeopardy?” It is a law principle that states you cannot be tried twice for the same crime. Now that is some great news!
Dan and I led a week-long youth revival for a large Korean church in Washington, D.C. At the end of the week, a lady from the church invited us to have dinner with her and the leadership of the church. We went to a wonderful but very expensive restaurant. When our hostess ordered one of each entrée on the menu because she wanted us to experience as much Korean cuisine as possible, my nerves vanished. She obviously had it under control – or so I thought.
I’m not really sure what I ate – but it was scrumptious! At the end of the meal, our hostess went to pay the bill. I could see her talking with the restaurant owner, and she was visibly upset. I was afraid she did not have enough money to pay what must have been an enormous tab. When she returned to the table, I asked if everything was okay. She smiled and offered an explanation that amazed me, “Someone from the church came in, saw us all eating together, and paid the bill. Now I do not have the honor of paying for your meal.” The manager apologized but said he could not accept any payment from her because the bill had already been paid.
We keep trying to pay for our sin when all we need to do is accept God’s forgiveness for it and leave it behind. God’s way almost seems too easy, doesn’t it? We ask for His forgiveness, and He gives it. Really? Really!
Jesus has already been tried for our sin. He was condemned, sentenced, and crucified to pay the bill for our sins. That’s not all! He rose from the dead to prove that God accepted His payment. So, if our sin has already been tried, and the payment has already been paid, we are no longer condemned, and guilt has no clout in our lives.
Then why is guilt so powerful? Because we allow it to manipulate our memories, and we listen to the enemy’s constant whispers about the past that is now covered by the blood and grace. Satan knows this truth, but do we?
I was praying this morning, moaning, and groaning over several sins in my past. Oh, I have asked the Father to forgive me for each one, but evidently, I don’t think He did because they keep popping up in my heart and mind.
I have never heard the audible voice of God, but He seemed to shout this morning when He said, “What sins? I don’t remember them!” I literally stopped in my tracks as a sense of freedom and peace overwhelmed me. It was definitely an “Aha” moment.
When we surrender our hearts to Jesus and invite Him to take control of our lives, His grace covers it all! We are set free to live a grace-filled life instead of a guilt-ridden one. Are you in?
Father, I am so tired of trying to live each day, carrying the baggage of my past. Please give me the courage to face the sins I have tried so hard to bury. Help me turn away from each one, leaving it in Your hands. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace, Your mercy, Your love, and Your forgiveness.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.