- Do you still feel as though you deserve to be punished even after you have been forgiven by another?
- Do you put yourself down, saying, “I’ve made too many mistakes for God to use me!”
- Do you assume that others will be blessed by God, but believe that you have forfeited His blessings because of your sin?
- Do you believe that joy may come to some, but that kind of reward is permanently out of your reach?
If you can identify with any of these feelings, you need to forgive yourself and release yourself from the bondage that has imprisoned you can identify with any of these feelings, you need to forgive yourself and release yourself from the bondage that has imprisoned you.
There is a wonderful passage in the Psalms that is full of liberty for us, if we will only seize it:
If you, O Lord, kept a record of our sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness. – Psalm 130: 3-4
If you are a child of God, you are forgiven. You have been set free from the penalty of sin. He has told us that because we are human, we are sinners (Romans 5:12). But He has also said that when we become a child of God, We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), the righteousness of God in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30).
As long as you continue to hold a grudge against yourself for having been born a sinner and for having acted like a sinner in some painful situations, you will walk around with a burden God never intended you to bear.
There is a difference between godly guilt and guilt one assumes voluntarily.
Godly guilt is very specific. You will feel convicted in a particular area. As you respond in obedience, the conviction will be replaced by the pure joy of knowing that everything is clear between you and the Lord, and that your sin is remembered no more (Jeremiah 31:34). Nor will there be any residual ugly feelings to torment and punish you.
Ungodly guilt, or condemnation, will feel like a heavy, wet blanket that stifles your peace and your sense of being right with God. Depression, irritability, and self-hate will escalate, often manifesting themselves in as fatigue, bothersome physical ailments, and a general sense of unworthiness. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, I would encourage you to begin to inventory the specific sins you know about but have been unwilling to take to the Lord for cleansing.
It may be too painful to tell a friend, a counsellor, or your doctor just what is bothering you. But God says we have a great High Priest who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15).
You can tell Him everything!
“I have wanted another woman’s husband, Lord . . . ”
“I have lived in a world of gossip or lies to make myself look better . . . ”
“I have been jealous and vengeful.”
Say it. Don’t shrink back. The promise of cleansing and freedom is your birthright as a child of God. Then confess:
I am forgiven by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and there is no condemnation for me. – Romans 8:1
My friend, that is your birthright as His precious child. Claim it and live in the light of it today.