“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1)
There are a number of things that weigh us down in life. It is not until someone places a heavy bag or suitcase on you before you can be weighed down. In actual fact, there are people who have no visible physical load or weight on them, yet it feels like they are carrying a suitcase weighing over 60kg. If you boarded an International Flight with suitcases weighing over 60kg, you would definitely be charged for excess luggage.
Many of us go through life with a lot of excess luggage. One of such heavy weights we carry is the load of guilt. Are you weighed down with guilt? Guilt is living under personal condemnation. Guilt is blaming yourself and holding yourself responsible for every problem or difficulty that comes your way or the way of those connected to you.
Guilt brews and grows in the heart of a person God has forgiven, yet the person can’t forgive himself or herself. Guilt is nitpicking over sins and mistakes God has thrown into the deepest part of the sea of mercy and forgiveness (Micah 7:19). It is keeping a list of sins and mistakes, God has deleted. It is to keep going over old history. Guilt is living with emotional pain and agony.
It is only in Christ Jesus that we can be free from guilt. There is therefore now no condemnation, no guilty verdict for those who believe in Christ Jesus and have Him as their personal Lord and Saviour (Romans 8:1). Jesus is the go-to Person for anyone struggling, troubled and weighed down with guilt. He says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Are you tired of living and walking in the past, tired of daily crying over spilt milk? You can’t have peace and joy if you keep dwelling on past mistakes. There’s no mistake or sin so grievous that God can’t forgive. Even if you have killed someone or some people, there is forgiveness for you in Christ Jesus (Isaiah 1: 18). Feeling guilty or condemning yourself for what you have done, does not change you, nor does it correct your mistakes and errors. It is repentance and receiving God’s forgiveness that can do that (2 Corinthians 7:8-10). Feeling bad about sins committed, mistakes made in life, should drive us to God, not to a corner in our mind where we keep going over our wrong actions and decisions, and get ourselves worked up, sad and depressed.
It is in the place of sincere repentance that we receive strength and grace to overcome those sins, mistakes, lifestyle and behaviour that have the tendency to make us feel guilty. God forgives, but we have to forgive ourselves for every mistake we have made in life. No one can do this for us. Receiving God’s forgiveness is as important as receiving grace to forgive yourself.
Jesus told the man at the Pool of Bethesda who had lived with an infirmity for 38 years, “Rise, take up your bed and walk” (John 5:5-8). Jesus is telling someone today, rise! Don’t waste another minute condemning yourself and feeling sorry for yourself. Rise, from your bed of guilt and regrets and walk to the cross, walk to Jesus where there is forgiveness, cleansing, peace, joy and freedom from guilt.
O Lord, for so long, I have been troubled and weighed down by sins I have committed, mistakes I have made in life. Forgive me for holding unto them, carrying them instead of dropping them at your feet. Today, I cast the burden of guilt to You and refuse to collect it back. The things I have done wrong that have brought guilt, forgive me for them and fill me with grace to walk in Your ways and with Your wisdom. Replace every feeling of guilt with forgiveness, understanding of Your love and mercy, and inner peace and joy in my heart, in Jesus mighty name. Amen!
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