Have you ever felt like these biblical writers?
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…. (Rom 7:15)
My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. (Ps 38:4)
In this series we’ve discussed how to alleviate our heavy loads. We’ve looked at the different types of burdens, how to release them over to the Lord by looking at 10 keys and the importance of addressing each one individually.
Now I want to discuss what I believe is the heaviest and most common of all burdens—GUILT.
How do we get relief from the burden of guilt?
Did you know there are two kinds of guilt? Good guilt and false guilt.
Good guilt is from the Holy Spirit which leads you to repentance and back into a right relationship with God.
False guilt is a tool of the enemy which keeps you discouraged, feeling worthless, inadequate, and fearful of judgement.
The dictionary defines Guilt as the state of having committed a wrong or the feeling that you have.
The fact is we are all guilty before God—even if we’re not aware of it (Rom 3:23). We all fall short of God’s perfect standard and sin. If God is going to maintain His attribute of being just, He has to punish all wrong doing (Rom 6:23).
But PTL, Jesus Christ—the sinless, innocent, perfect One—took that punishment for us on the cross!
If Jesus is your Savior, He has taken your burden of sin and therefore your guilt. You are no longer under condemnation. You have been made right with your holy God. The judgment you deserved was taken care of by Jesus Christ.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Ps 32:5, emphasis added; see also Is 6:7)
In our key passage of Matthew 11:28-30 we see two invitations and two types of rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… and you will find rest for your souls….”
The first is an invitation to eternal rest—the removal of the judgment of sin (punishment in hell). The second invite is to a rest in the here and now; a rest in the midst of difficulties.
When you sin after being saved (and you will), you will feel guilty. That’s good guilt.
What you feel is the conviction of the Holy Spirit letting you know you are not right with Him; that there’s been a breach in your relationship. To regain that peace, confess with godly sorrow and repent (i.e. get serious about not doing it again). Then the rest for your soul will return.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 Jn 1:9)
However, if you confess with half-heartedness, then don’t expect peace in your heart. You cannot have the peace of God unless you are at peace with God (Rom 5:1).
If you still feel guilty after you have sincerely repented of a sin, that is false guilt. A lie from the devil. Your guilt, as well as your sin, has been removed. Jesus’s payment was sufficient to cover all of your sins. (1 Pet 3:18)
So don’t go around heavy laden with the burden of guilt. When guilty feelings arise, go to your merciful Savior; ask Him to examine your heart. If the Holy Spirit reveals a wrongful behavior or attitude, then agree with Him and repent. If not, rebuke that lie with the truth of God.
In either case, say along with the Apostle Paul…
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom 8:1)
My friend, if you are still heavy laden after reading this series, don’t feel bad! You just need additional help. Use this free resource to alleviate your load.
Getting Relief From Our Burdens: Additional Help
Blogs in this series
Ahhhhhhhhh! Getting Relief from Our Burdens
Ahhhhhhhhh! Getting Relief from Our Burdens—10 Keys: Part 1
Ahhhhhhhhh! Getting Relief from Our Burdens—10 Keys: Part 2
Ahhhhhhhhh! Getting Relief by Releasing Our Burdens One by One
Setting the Record Straight on Temptation So You Can Sin LESS
7 Tips to Help You Break that Sinful Cycle!
12 Ways to Increase Your DESIRE to Stop Sinning
Why You Should Consider an Accountability Partner to Overcome a Sinful Habit
The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.