Friday, July 15, 2011

"Guilty Without Guilt"

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8

I want to talk about guilt this morning. In the English language the word guilt is a noun and a verb. The word guilt used as a noun means that it's a fact that you have committed some offense, some wrong doing or violated some law. Guilt as a verb deals with the feeling of remorse over some wrong that you have done. For example, the feeling of guilt may come as a result of cheating on your spouse. You betrayed the love that they gave you by giving yourself to someone else. It may come because you said something hurtful or harmful and now you wish you could take those words back because of the pain they inflicted. Parents often feel guilty because they did not spend time with their children while they were growing up. Some suffer with guilt because they committed a crime against another person through theft, murder, abuse, etc.

The guilt we feel is because we are in fact truly guilty of doing what we are feeling guilty about. It is not because we are innocent. I want to encourage you that if you are dealing with guilt today over something you did, the Lord wants to deliver you from it.

Look at the life of the Apostle Paul. He was guilty of persecuting the church. His occupation was to seek out those who were living for Christ and have them imprisoned or put to death. Then one day he had an encounter with the Lord on the Damascus Road and his life was forever changed. Instead of persecuting the church, he became part of it and preached the same gospel that he had tried to destroy. Although Paul was guilty of all the things we just said, he did not live in guilt over them. Had he, he would have never been able to preach the saving, healing, delivering message of Jesus. The guilt would have stopped him every time he opened his mouth. The point I want to make from the life of Paul is that while he was guilty, he did not live in guilt. And you don't have to either. The Lord wants to deliver you from the guilt of what you have done and give you healing and forgiveness. Did Paul still endure some things because of his guilty act? Yes. But he did not endure the struggle of wresting with those guilty feelings- he had peace, his guilt was gone.

Are you wresting with guilt? Are you guilty of doing the thing that you are having remorse over but you can't get past the guilt of it? The same healing that was available for Paul is available for you. The same peace that the Lord gave to him He wants to give to you. He wants to deliver you from the guilt.

The enemy wants to keep you bound in guilt so that he can stop you from fulfilling God's purpose and accomplishing God's plan for your life. He wants to keep you feeling guilty so that you will not pursue a relationship with the Lord.

This morning, take your guilt to God. Ask for His forgiveness, then let Him take the guilt away and give you peace.

Have a great day. You may be guilty, but the Lord wants to deliver you from the guilt.

For further reading:
Romans 8:1
1 John 1:9
Acts 9:1-26

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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