Guilt is an unhappy feeling that weighs one down, an embodiment of shame and condemnation, a state of having committed an offense, crime, violation or wrong. Christians in this sinful world have wronged God in diverse ways, made awful utterances, taken turns they ought not to have taken via their actions and many more.
The Bible reveals in 1 John1:9 that God being loving and faithful is ever ready to forgive our sins when we confess them. But even after confessing the wrongs, some still struggle in guilt and shame, wishing to undo their actions.
The blood of Jesus does not select the type of sin to stone for, it atones for all. Isaiah 1:8 says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as snow.” Therefore, there is no type of sin God cannot forgive. The feeling is a strategy from the devil to keep one in fear, shame, anxiety and depression. That is not the will of God for us as believers. What we should understand is, who God forgives, nobody can condemn as it is written in Romans 8:1.
One thing guilt causes is fear. We think because we did something wrong, we can't make it in life. It becomes a stigma making us anxious and unworthy of God’s love and favor.
It also makes one far from God. A case associated to being unable to pray because you feel God would not listen. That is what the devil wants; to draw us away from God, making us have a filthy perception of ourselves. Remember in Genesis 3:8-10, Adam ate the forbidden fruit and hid himself when he heard the voice of God. When we wallow in guilt, we want to hide from God.
Living in self-condemnation is another result of guilt. In contrast, Apostle Paul did not condemn himself after persecuting the church. He should have felt unworthy to preach the good news, but he did not. If God does not condemn us, why then should we condemn ourselves? (John 3:17, Rom 8:1). We don't have to be perfect to be called by God; He did not come because we are righteous, but because we are full of sin, needing a right stand with God.
To overcome the guilt set by the devil, we must understand certain facts. First, we should not think we can repay God for our evil deeds; that is guilt creeping in. The wage of sin is death and to save us from it, Christ died on the cross. He paid the ultimate price of sin. Our only job is to confess our sins and genuinely repent. Therefore, we must surrender in totality to him knowing that there is nothing we can do about our yesterday, only to make good of today.
Second, God forgives immediately, it does not take Him anything to forgive man. Once He sees we are truly repentant, He forgives.
God also does not keep record of sin. He doesn't say, “You're the same person that lied in January, you were involved in sexual immortality in July, now you're here again, you stole”. No! He doesn't work that way. Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Therefore, we have no right to feel guilty because God himself has forgotten about that action we took.
Fourth, the blood of Jesus does not cover sins, rather, it erases them leaving no trace. We should understand that when we confess and repent, that sin is not covered for the meantime, it is washed away.
Our actions also do not change God's plan. The plan God has for us cannot be changed because we wronged him. God is not man, that can only happen in a man scenario. He says in Jeremiah 31:37 that, “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done”
Finally, whenever the feeling of guilt comes, it is not the time to run away from God but a time to draw closer to Him in prayers with constant fellowship with the Holy spirit. We should bear in mind that God does not call us to redo yesterday but He is calling us to do something new and better today, for his grace surpasses our guilt. Salvation is not a reward of the good things we have done, it is a gift, so we should embrace it wholly.
By: Utibe Aniekan