Does anyone reading this devotional struggle with guilt? Guilt can destroy you or change you if you let it. How do we move on and get rid of guilt? We start by admitting guilt and deciding if it is real or false guilt. Either way, we don’t want to bury it, deny it, or ignore it. Even though we know this truth, we still try to run from our guilt. We run by, distracting our thoughts. Create an unreal truth about our responsibility. We lie to ourselves. But when anyone runs from guilt, it will eventually catch up with you. It may take weeks, months, years, and even decades, but wherever you go, you take you with you, and it is with you until you deal with it.
Have you noticed that no matter how busy we are or how far we run, we will be stressed if our stress comes from regrets, shame, or guilt? When we finally slow down long enough to process, reflect and think about all these feelings, they will come crashing down on us.
Proverbs 20:27 says, “The Lord gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves.”
It is amazing how we can hide from everybody else, but you can’t hide from ourselves, and we cannot hide from the Lord. We all can lie to ourselves: it’s not bad when it really is bad, and it’s getting better when it isn’t getting any better. Everyone is doing it. I have been getting away with it for years. There are “experts” who have said it is not sinning.
1 John 1:8-10, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word is not in us.”
To stop defeating ourselves, we have to stop deceiving ourselves. What is it that defeats us? How about worry, envy, bitterness, jealousy, guilt, fear, anxiety, and insecurity.
Over the past week, we have been cleaning the house. We have been throwing stuff away, giving things to Goodwill. We have been removing the clutter in the home and cleaning up! I know we are not alone because, in this pandemic, many people tell me that they have been going through their house, scrubbing or organizing things, cleaning up. Have you seen the lines at the Goodwill drop-off lanes? It feels so good! The Lord used this to remind me that it may be time to do a spiritual cleaning day in our heart, mind, and soul. In the same way, we clean the house we live in, what about cleaning our spiritual home?
Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind, our sins sweep us away.”
How do we do that? My suggestion is to set aside a couple of hours (maybe more) with a paper pad and a pen. Find a quiet place where you can reflect on these statements of prayer: Lord, bring to my mind ALL my sins. Show me where I have messed up. Reveal the mistakes I have made. Ask yourself: what do I feel guilty about, either consciously or unconsciously?
Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
If we genuinely seek the Lord and are ready to repent of our sins and be honest with ourselves, I believe the Holy Spirit will start bringing these things to mind.
2 Corinthians 7:9 says, “yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.”
The next step is to start writing them down on the paper pad. Why write them down? Because writing them down is powerful because it helps us to be specific and avoid denying our problems. Our sin becomes more real when we see them in writing.
The next step is to confess to the Lord these sins, repent and ask the Lord to forgive you.
Acts 3:19, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”
After giving Him thanks for His revelation and release of the guilt that has been weighing you down now, you can take the paper with the list of sins and burn it up. Watch the flames and remember that the Lord removes our sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). They are gone. You are forgiven! (Psalm 118:24) This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it!
Cleaning house. Together.