Perspectives

A different look at every day issues.

Got Guilt?

“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (24) Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-23, 25)

The interesting thing about the “resident evil” Paul speaks about in vv. 21-23 is that it not only produces awareness of the sinful nature still at work within us which tries to disconnect us from the Father’s love, but it also produces debilitating guilt. In my experience, the guilt issue does more damage to our confidence in Christ’s love than anything else. 

That the sin nature will always be at work within us is a given and we will always struggle with its vacillating frequency of expression. Yet, the guilt issue is the deal breaker for most Christians who cannot understand why they still have sinful urgings and occasionally lapse into carnality. Subsequently, the question of heaven-readiness makes a person feel like a boat anchor stuck on the bottom of the lake. We fear getting left behind and wonder if we will ever truly rise above the grip of the old nature.

The only thing God wants us to take away from this portion of scripture is the provision of 7:25—Jesus Christ. Paul simply states the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. God made everything about us and he delights in our fellowship. Yet the old nature still levies explosive salvos into our thinking via outside stimuli and watches our reaction to the thought bombs. The fact that our sinful nature can still come out of hiding and raise its ugly head once in a while is reason enough to be sober about the possibilities and effects of yielding to its occasional lure. We cannot let our guard down nor can we grant the enemy diplomatic immunity

Some may choose to live in guilt because they feel they deserve its oppressive presence as penance for their misdeeds. But, God has provided an answer. That answer is Jesus Christ—his full presence in our lives and his strength at work against the lies of the enemy.  

What’s the issue? The sin we commit or the guilt we allow?

Remember, guilt comes from the enemy but grace comes to the repentent heart from a loving Father.