Sadly people who are spiritual often suffer with the most guilt, but what if I told you that guilt is never from God? Guilt is a human feeling, not a God feeling. Although God convicts us about certain actions we take or don’t take, He never “guilts” us into anything. It is against His nature to manipulate the human heart; He wants us to choose what is right because that is the desire of our heart, not because we feel obligated.
There was a time in my life when I felt guilty about everything. Growing up in the church can easily do this to a person. You see, “religion” and “spirituality” are two very different things but often co-exist. Religion weighs us down with rules, rituals, and obligations, while spirituality releases us to freely love, walk lightly, and take the liberty we need to enjoy life.
Guilt is a nagging feeling that quickly drains us, causes us to lose hope, and is never satisfied. When we give into guilt, we ask for more guilt. It never stops unless we refuse to accept it. At one point in my life I got it into my head that I needed to apologize any time I thought someone was upset, even if it was not my fault. I started apologizing so much that it actually starting getting weird.
Finally one of my friends was like, “Jory, stop apologizing, your are operating in guilt.” She was right. The feelings of constant guilt were plaguing me and I thought if I kept apologizing the guilt would subside, but it didn’t. It would just come right back. It would not let go. I was actually living in torment and I knew I had to snap out of it.
I went to God’s Word and found out some things that truly set me free. I began to chew on these verses every single day when I felt guilty about anything:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything (John 3:20)
God started showing me that when He is not cool with my actions He will let me know and it will have nothing to do with how I feel. Instead, it will be a “knowing.” God does give of convictions, but they literally have nothing to do with emotions. Sure, I can choose to feel guilty when God gives me a conviction, but I can also choose not to feel guilty.
We don’t score extra brownie points with God if we choose to feel guilty when He convicts us, so why bother with such a negative emotion?
A conviction is simply a “firmly held belief.” God may start to press it on our mind that we are doing something displeasing to Him, but He is not interested in you feeling bad about yourself. No, He wants to help you change the behavior so you can live even more freely and lightly.
There are only three kinds who make us feel guilty and those include ourselves, other people, and Satan. The enemy of our souls actually enjoys putting emotions on us that he knows are unhealthy for us. The Bible calls Him “the accuser of Christians:
…For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth–the one who accuses them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10).
This means that our enemy literally goes before God often and makes statements like, “God, have you seen what Jory has been up to? Have you seen how displeasing she is to you? She is such an embarrassment to your Kingdom…”
Yet, God quickly replies, “Jory is clean because I have spoken my Word (Jesus Christ) over her (John 15:3).” There is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
Here is the amazing thing about God; He does not get angry with us if we don’t practice first time obedience. He knows we are weak in our flesh and cannot do anything good apart from Him. He is patient with our flaws and knows that breaking bad habits and starting good habits is a process.
In church, we are often taught that God is a mean daddy who is going to whoop us if we don’t get in line immediately. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is so long-suffering and gracious with His children.
The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love (Psalm 145:8)
Let’s stop allowing negative emotions to rule our hearts. Let’s live our lives the best we can, love others while still maintaining healthy boundaries, and show the world that our God does not place the heaviness of guilt on His children’s shoulders.
What if I told you to simply do what you want to do and don’t worry about it? Did you hear me? This statement will set you free: Do what you want to do and stop worrying about it!
God will not only let us know if we are doing something displeasing to Him; He will hold our hand and walk us through the process of change. It is His loving kindness that leads us to want to change (Romans 2:4); not guilt, manipulation or fear!
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)
Let it go; guilt is not from God!
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