The Guilt Trip
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
First, we knowingly sin. The inevitable result, if we don’t relate the sin to the baptism and the cross of Jesus, we develop guilt. Now, guilt always leads to estrangement. There is the syndrome: sin, guilt and estrangement. Man cannot live with guilt. He then tries to deal with guilt in one of two ways – both are wrong. If he is the type who doesn’t have a particularly sensitive conscience, he tries to justify himself. He makes excuses and offers valid reasons why he did something. When we justify our actions, the result will be a feeling of loss of fellowship with God because deep down inside we know that we haven’t been honest with ourselves or God. We sense we have offended God by our deviousness. When we feel that God is offended, we also feel estranged from God. Remember, God isn’t mad but we think He is.
Another way man deals with guilt and it’s equally wrong, is to condemn himself. He sins over and over in the same area, guilt sets in and then he begins the self condemnation trip. Satan loves to get his hand on one of these ‘sensitive’ Christians. Satan just sits back and relaxes when he gets us going on this guilt trip. At this point you may ask, is there any kind of bona fide guilt in the life of a believer in Christ? Yes.
Firstly, there is what I call ‘legal’ guilt. This is every man’s curse as he comes into this world. It is his inherited culpability for sin and this is what Christ removed as a barrier between God and Man when He received His baptism and went to the cross for us. Secondly, there is the ‘emotion’ of guilt. This is what Satan delights in heaping upon believers who feel they have failed God. This kind of guilt is Satan’s tool and has no place in the life of a true Christian. Thirdly, there is a convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor 7:8-9 as ‘sorrow’ which leads to repentance. If the godly sorrow caused by the Spirit’s conviction doesn’t lead to a repentance, then it well may go into the second kind of guilt, the emotional guilt, which is deadly to a Christian walk with God.
There is a need to acknowledge to God when we are guilty of sinning, and we freely can if we know for sure that God will keep on loving and accepting us. When we continue to feel unforgiven after we have acknowledged our sins, it is an indication that we have turned our focus away from God’s forgiveness to ourselves. Then we are saying that our sinful weaknesses are more powerful than God’s forgiving power. Either He isn’t big enough to forgive us or He doesn’t want to forgive us. In either case, when there is unresolved guilt in the life of a person, he will feel estranged from God. He will not trust God to work in his life through the Holy Spirit and deliver him from the temptation of the flesh and the cunning wiles of Satan.
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