There’s a difference between feeling guilty and wallowing in guilt.
Feeling guilty is healthy. Guilt is a God-given emotion. When I’m mean to Judy or have an unthankful attitude toward the Lord, I feel guilty because I am. This is evidence of the Holy Spirit working in my life and encouraging me to make things right with my God and others.
Wallowing in guilt is not healthy. Forgiveness is a gift from God. When I’m clinging to the guilt I feel over something that happened years ago, something I can never change, something that is even all my fault, it freezes me. This is evidence that I’m not believing what the Word of God says about my sin–that Jesus paid my debt and that His blood continues to cleanse me from sin.
Preoccupation with God leads to confession of sin that sets us free from guilt and shame (1 John 1:9).
Preoccupation with self leads to attempts to control sin that enslaves us to guilt and shame.
How do you think the Lord Jesus would classify your guilt? False or true?
True guilt runs to the cross; false guilt denies God’s gift of grace.