Thursday, April 08, 2010

Guilty Conscience

Guilt is an interesting phenomenon. It's beneficial because it means we recognize our sin and the tension we have with goodness, but sometimes it can pop up when we are not actually doing something wrong. I mean, we're always sinful, but sometimes we feel we should have done something when in actuality, we made a perfectly justifiable decision. Sometimes it's because of something someone else has said, but usually, it just nags.

If you ever want to make someone feel guilty, I'm a pretty easy target. This last week I've had a couple situations rolling around in my head: "I should have spent more time with her... I shouldn't be pestering him... I should have worked harder on that." Guilt is so effective because it is true in some respect. I remember a sermon once, talking about Satan's devices. One point was it works because it's [potentially twisted, manipulated] truth! Sure, I should have spent more time working on that assignment, but does pining over it help? The trick is to move on and not make the same mistake again

What I'm slowly learning each day is that Jesus died for our sins. Sounds like a Christian should know that, but I don't think we realize what that means each day. If I do something wrong, it's over. It's pointless trying to punish myself for things that He has already been punished for, if the guilt is caused by authentic sin. As Paul said, "If God is for us, who can be against us?... Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died- more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." (Rom 8:31b, 34)

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