When I was in the first grade, I gave a little boy in my class the middle finger. Yep – I really did it and was written up by my teacher. I felt awful about it. I was so ashamed and desperately wanted to go back in time and take it back. My shame and embarrassment caused me to hide it from my parents, I didn’t want them to know the horrible thing I had done.
This sin I committed plagued me with guilt. It kept me awake at night for almost an entire year. I’m not exaggerating. I remember sitting up at night tossing and turning because not only had I done the terrible action, but I had kept it from my parents.
One night I couldn’t take it any longer. I crawled out of bed, went into my parents’ bedroom, and woke my mom. I started bawling and confessed that a year ago I had given the middle finger to a classmate, had been written up, and kept it from her all this time. I told her how incredibly sorry I was and how awful I felt.
That night my mom gave me the biggest hug and told me it was okay. She asked me if I prayed about it and said to me, “God has already forgiven you, now you just need to forgive yourself.” I slept like a baby the rest of the night.
God gave us the emotion of guilt so we can recognize we did something wrong. He meant for this emotion to lead us to confession, not to remain in it.
What sin is keeping you awake at night? What are you trying to hide from others that you need to confess?
Let me share this verse with you today from Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
If we confess our sins to Him, God is quick to forgive us – now we only need to forgive ourselves.
If we fail to forgive ourselves for something God has already forgiven us for, we are putting ourselves above God. For if a perfect and holy God can forgive us of something – then we should be able to give ourselves that same grace.
Let it go, friends. Don’t let the guilt separate you from God and from your relationship with others. Give up the guilt.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your forgiveness. Please help us search ourselves to reveal any sins we have not yet confessed to you. After our confession, Lord, please help us accept your grace and forgiveness, and in turn, forgive ourselves. We no longer want to be imprisoned by guilt. Thank you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Discussion: Guilt is a powerful emotion; how have you found freedom in giving up guilt?
Memory Verse: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
This post is part of my series for April called “Evolving Emotionally”. We will be spending the month of April taking an emotion and seeing what God has to say about it. Join us on Tuesdays and Fridays as we go on the journey of emotions together. To see previous posts in Evolving Emotionally click here. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe via email!