by Pastor Tim Burt
No one loves the feeling of guilt. I think it would be accurate to say that most people hate it. We push guilt aside, we bury guilt, and we will try to do any and everything we can to get rid of guilt. People just plain hate guilt. The problem is, if a person doesn’t know the Lord, they can never get rid of guilt. Oh they may try. They may suppress their feelings about guilt. They may bury them. They may try to drown them in alcohol or drugs or some other way. But the spirit of a man knows when it is not clean before the Lord. When the spirit of a man is not free from sin, guilt is present. Guilt feelings can create defensive attitudes leading to dysfunctional thinking and behaviors. That’s why it is so imperative to be free from it.
God wants to free us all from that guilt and pain. The following two verses reveal this truth in the most powerful way! First we see that God is not out to get us, but to save us. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus, purely out of His love for us! John 3:17 (NIV) says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” He isn’t out to get us or bring condemnation which means found guilty. To the contrary, He wants to wash our sins away!
Secondly God has proven His love for us while we were still in a sinful state. That’s how great His love is for us! Romans 5:8-9 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by the sacrifice of His death and blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Jesus Christ!”
You see God isn’t looking to point the finger. He isn’t looking for condemnation and guilt. He says we have been justified, or you could say, declared not guilty. And that is His gift from Himself to us. We are saved from wrath! We are not guilty. When a person repents from their sin and receives Jesus as their Savior, God immediately removes sin and guilt and makes them blameless. This is a gift and miracle that no human being is worthy of.
Now, having said that, let me get to today’s point. God didn’t send Jesus to get rid of guilt so that we could put each other back under it. He wants us to help people get free from guilt. Receiving Jesus is a miraculous step with instant results—the promise and gift of eternal life. Learning to live the Christian walk is a process. Everyone is in a different place in that process. We don’t want to put guilt trips on people because they don’t live up to our expectations. We don’t want to look for whom to blame in every situation where something goes wrong. We don’t want to focus on blame at all. Some people are blamers. Something goes wrong and the first thing they do, is try to figure out whom they can blame for whats wrong. Is the economy bad? Is our national problems the President’s fault? Our teenage is going astray. Is it dad’s fault or is it moms or is it the schools or maybe the friend they are hanging out with?
When our lives weren’t right and we were covered in our own sins, Jesus wasn’t out to condemn or find blame. He was solution-oriented and He led the way. He took our punishment upon Himself. Then He showed love and pointed out the right path—be merciful, forgiving, and solution-oriented. Imagine if we were like that. A husband and wife get into a fight and instead of looking to blame each other the husband just sucks it up and says, Honey, you’re probably right. I’m sorry. What do you think we can do to fix this? Imagine he does this even though he could be right. He has taken the lead. His heart is saying, Look honey; it’s not important that I’m right and you are wrong. It’s important that I protect my love for you and we just find a solution to this situation. He doesn’t blame. He doesn’t pin guilt. He washes her like Jesus washed us.
Many marriages, relationships, and situations are ruined because they focus on faults and lay guilt for what each other is doing wrong, or is not doing right! It’s much more profitable and God’s way of doing something when we show mercy and grace when something’s gone wrong. It’s more profitable when through that mercy and grace, a couple kindly embraces each other and says, What can I do to better to avoid this next time? And if someone does repeat it? Show more mercy and grace because the truth is, most people do accidentally repeat offenses. Changing your ways is hard but you get there when you work for it! Always remember that you as an individual repeat mistakes yet rely daily on God’s mercy and grace for yourself. So follow His example. Show more mercy and more grace while again, focusing on not casting blame but working toward an amicable solution. Its better when we wash each other’s feet. It’s better when we overlook offenses and cleanse each other from sin and guilt. It’s better when our motivation is to protect the love and relationship between each other. Blaming solves nothing and is motivated to get rid of your own guilt. Understand that and don’t cave to it. Being solution oriented, leading with the mercy and grace of God helps accomplish progress and puts a stake in guilt and condemnation.
The same goes with children. Don’t lay guilt on them. Free them up. Help them understand what works better. Understanding of wrong ways brings transformation. Guilt locks in bad behavior leading to avoidance and eventually attitude and behavioral problems. Wash them with your love and point them in the right direction. Love, instruction, correction mixed with mercy and grace that washes and continually forgives, is POWERFUL in it’s working where holding on to offense and placing blame and fault is the path to destroying all that’s good. Ephesians 1:4 says that God, through what Jesus did, made us “holy and without blame before Him in love.”
Prov 17:9 NKJV says, “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.” Can you bring this principle of removing guilt and covering an offense into your marriage, into your parenting, and into your workplace? The Holy Spirit can teach you how. When you lead with mercy and grace and wash their guilt and look for solutions instead of guilt, you become a powerful vessel of God. You becomes like Jesus!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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