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Thursday, March 6, 2014
Daily Devotional - One Presses You Down, the Other Lifts You Up
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. —Psalm 32:5
We must learn the difference between condemnation and conviction. Condemnation presses us down and manifests as a heavy burden that requires us to pay for our errors. Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit, showing us that we have sinned and inviting us to confess our sins in order to receive forgiveness and God’s help to improve our behavior in the future. Condemnation makes the problem worse; conviction is intended to lift us out of it.
When you feel guilty, the first thing to do is ask yourself if you are guilty according to God’s Word. Perhaps you are. If so, confess your sin to God; turn away from that sin and don’t repeat it. If you need to apologize to someone you have wronged, do it. Then . . . forgive yourself and let go of it! God already forgave you, and if you refuse to do the same, then you’ll miss out on the joy of redemption that God wants us all to experience.
Sometimes you may well find that you are not guilty according to God’s Word. For example, I can recall feeling guilty when I tried to rest. For years I drove myself incessantly to work, work, work because I felt good when I was accomplishing something and felt guilty if I was enjoying myself. That thinking is totally wrong according to God’s Word. Even He rested from His work of creation, and He has invited us to enter His rest. The guilt I felt when I tried to rest was unscriptural, irrational, and downright ridiculous. When I stopped believing my feelings alone and started truly examining them in the light of God’s Word, I stopped feeling guilty.
Trust God and His Word to reveal to you when your guilt is false and your thinking is wrong.
Trust in Him What makes you feel guilty? What does God’s Word say about the situation? Stop believing your feelings that condemn you, and put your trust in His Word that convicts.