A Dialog about Guilt

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Father, why do I keep guilt simmering in my life?

What do you mean?


Well, it seems that I’m always either guilty that I did something

or guilty that I didn’t.


What are you afraid of? 


I am afraid of upsetting you somehow.

I don’t want to displease You, but then again,

don’t really know what to do about it.


“Fear involves punishment” (1 John 4:18).

The one who fears judgment

obviously doesn’t understand Me or My perspective. 


Surely feeling guilty helps You know just how sorry I am about it, right?

I’ve always heard that doing some kind of penance

proves my repentance to You and helps restore our fellowship. 


And within this very belief lies the problem.

Let me ask you something.

Do you believe that I sent My Son

into the world to deliver it (1 John 4:14)?


Absolutely. I’ve believed that since I was a child.


Do you believe that I forgave you of your sins?


Yes.“God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:24).


Good job. Now notice, My dear child. The tense here is past.

I forgave you all of your transgressions – 2000 years ago –

and nailed them on the cross with My Son (Colossians 2:13-14).

The bad thought that you dwelt on this morning….

yeah, it also was nailed on the cross.

Tomorrow’s anger when you feel disrespected?

Yep, it was on there, too.

Why are you obsessed with these things

when I have chosen to forget them (Psalm 103:12)? 


It just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s easier to wrap my head around a progressive forgiveness

rather than this once and done type. 


You are trying to look at it like from your perspective.

But that’s just not how I see it.

Why is it easier to believe I forgave your past sins when you asked,

rather than the future ones you haven’t committed yet.  

All of your sins were future stuff 

from the perspective of the cross.

 Can’t I both forgive your sins as well as dismiss them forever? 


How can this be?


“When sins have been forgiven,

there is no need to offer any more sacrifices” (Hebrews 10:18).

No more need for penance.

No more need for groveling.

No more need for guilt.

By the one time offering for sin – 2000 years ago –

you are now for all time considered perfect (Hebrews 10:14).

I commanded that you are to be perfect just like Me,

so now I have made You so (Matthew 5:48).

When My Son said, “It is finished” (John 19:30),

He wasn’t just talking about His trial.

He was talking about yours, too!


So how then do I live? What am I supposed to do?


“Set your mind on things above”,

not on your own conduct (Colossians 3:2).

Praise Me for all that I’ve done and then just live.

You don’t need to change what you do.

Just change Who you are doing them for (Colossians 3:23).

My Son set you free,

so you could enjoy the freedom (Galatians 5:1).

Stop obsessing with what it looks like and just do life. 

Will you help me?


Absolutely. How about this?

Every time that old familiar feeling of guilt creeps up,

you counter it by praising Me (aloud if possible)

for setting you free from that deed.

Can you do that?


With Your help!

Praise You for being satisfied with all my tomorrows (Hebrews 13:15).

I love You.