God does not use a negative to deal with a negative. If we do something wrong, he wants us to openly and honestly confront it, confess our mistake and choose to change. Guilt, on the other hand, is about self-blame and blame leads to punishment. Does God want us to punish ourselves? Not at all! In fact His desire is the opposite. He came to set us free, not place us in bondage.
Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
Guilt and its related partner, shame, are based on a lie that secrecy is our greatest strength. Guilt and shame cause us to hide, look inward and punish ourselves with negative self-talk. Guilt does not solve the problem. It just causes us to feel bad through a hopeless anguish that comes from distressing self-reproach. Guilt holds us in a self-centred thought pattern that is self-destructive. You see the model in Judas. He felt remorse but did not discuss it with anyone. If he had been able to discuss what he did with Jesus, he too would have been forgiven. But he did not have that opportunity. So he turned on himself with remorse until eventually he chose to take his own life. Where did his guilt come from? Some of it was his own thinking. And also we know that there was the influence of the enemy who John 10:10 tells us wants to “steal, kill and destroy.”
God has a better plan. It is called forgiveness. Whatever sin we experience is forgiven by Jesus’ death on the cross. Our challenge is twofold. First, we need to accept Jesus’ sacrifice as personal redemption. In other words, “He did it for me.” And secondly, we need to lay down our pride that says, “My sin cannot be covered by Jesus so I need to self-justify through self-punishment. Thirdly, if Jesus has forgiven us, then we need to choose to forgive ourselves as well. Self-forgiveness means that we need to “let go” all of the ways that we self-blame and we need to stop punishing ourselves.
If God is not blaming us then we can stop self-abusing and live in the truth that we are free. Satan wants to hold us in guilt, especially secret guilt. God wants us to confess and be free. God wants us to be convicted and desiring positive change. He motivates us with truth not guilt.
Break out today from the bondage of guilt and replace your negative self-talk with God’s truth.
John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”