(excerpt from Morning Meditations by Martin Wiles)
Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)
There have been many occasions when I should have felt guilty. My teenage years being one. I did about everything Mom and Dad told me not to. I knew their instructions parroted God’s so my actions created internal conflict and resulted in guilt. But for the most part, I ignored it.
This verse teaches there is no condemnation for Jesus’ followers. I was one. I just wasn’t following too closely. It didn’t mean God had retrieved his forgiveness, but he did send the guilt.
But what about unexplained guilt? When I’m not conscious of anything I’ve done. Nor aware of something God was telling me to do that I had refused. Still there was a nagging feeling that something just wasn’t right between me and God.
Ever been there? Feeling guilty when there seemed nothing to feel guilty about? How do we deal with unexplained and false guilt?
Guilt feelings should spark investigation. They have a source, and we must make sure it’s not God. If my actions, words or attitudes have violated his commands, guilt feelings are his way of leading me to confession.
False guilt occurs when we’ve done nothing to feel guilty about but still do. God is never the author of these feelings. Satan is the primary source.
Our arch enemy knows if he can lead us to question God’s love and forgiveness he can prevent our effectiveness in God’s work. Uncertainty, fear of failing again, and wondering whether God can be trusted are tactics Satan uses to paralyze us.
But guilt feelings can also be leftovers from negative messages received while growing up-primarily from parents. Messages like, “You’ll never amount to anything,” or “Can’t you do anything right.”
God never condemns those he has forgiven. He only corrects when we go astray. Learn to recognize the source of guilt so you won’t “feel guilty” unnecessarily and be stymied in your work for God.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that Your forgiveness is full and complete and has taken care of our past, present and future sins. www.morningliteministry.com
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