June 4

Real Guilt vs. False Guilt, Part 3

Romans 8:1 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.

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

False guilt is a leech that can attach itself to anything—any action, any thought! It’s not the action or thought itself—it’s the false guilt that gets attached that’s the problem. Do you know someone—perhaps yourself—who always keeps saying “I’m sorry” when they haven’t done anything wrong? That’s not sensitivity; that’s false guilt.

Some people actually take a kind of pride in not doing certain things because they would feel guilty about it if they did, even if the thing itself is not sinful. That’s not something to be proud of; it’s still letting false guilt rule us, and not Christ.

Perhaps the problem is that some of us, underneath it all, privately believe that our perfection is the way of salvation for us—salvation here meaning freedom from feeling guilt and shame, and finally possessing peace. The thinking goes, “If I’m perfect, then I’ll no longer feel guilt or shame. And I’ll finally feel peace.” Of course, we would never say that. But that’s what some of us believe deep down.

We need a better belief: that Jesus is the true way to salvation. His perfect life and His sacrifice on the cross were enough to take care of our guilt. We don’t have to be perfect. We never did! If we do sin, we just have to bring ourselves to the One who already is perfect and accept the free gift of forgiveness. If He said it was finished on the cross, then it’s finished—the payment for guilt and sin has been made!

Forgiven but don’t feel it? That’s not uncommon. But if we let that determine our actions, then we’re putting our feelings before what the Lord has said. That’s called idolatry. It’s saying, “Your sacrifice on the cross is wonderful, but I don’t feel its effect! I have to feel it first to move forward.” It’s just at this exact point where some of us need to start walking by faith.

Hebrews 9:13-14 says, “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Jesus died to forgive our sins and take away all guilt. Any feelings of guilt after receiving forgiveness are false, and they continue to call God a liar. These lies and their attached feelings are our enemy, and need to be driven out as much as the Old Testament tribes occupying the Promised Land. We find and express victory not by pretending they aren’t there, but by moving forward in faith anyway.

Prayer: Father, please help make false guilt a non-factor in my life. Thank You that You don’t just forgive, but you also set us free from guilt! In Jesus’ name, I receive that forgiveness and the freedom from guilt that comes with it. Help me to walk in all Your provisions.