Freedom from Guilt
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”1
I read a story about a husband who came home drunk late one night and snuck up the stairs as quietly as possible to avoid waking his wife. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he'd received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he'd pulled a “swiftie” over on his wife.
When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. "You were drunk last night, weren't you?"
"Well, if you weren't, then who put all the Band-Aids on the bathroom mirror?"
If truth be known, most of us want to hide our sins and the wrongs that we have done for fear of being found out and shamed. However, try as we might, we can never hide the accompanying guilt. We may bury it in the unconscious mind but there it is never forgotten—and what we fail to talk out (confess) creatively we will inevitably act out destructively in one way or another. Unresolved guilt can cause serious physical, emotional and/or spiritual distress and major relational conflicts.
When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband, Uriah, killed in an attempt to hide his sin, his guilt tormented him.
In the Psalms he wrote, “Day and night your [God’s] hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”2
We have all sinned and we all need God’s forgiveness and healing from guilt and its damaging consequences. The good news is that, as God’s Word says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”3
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, how can I ever thank You enough for giving Your Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for all my sins which I now confess to You. Please forgive me and give me the courage I need to run from temptation, and the help I need to overcome all of my sins. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
NOTE: For further help to be sure that you are forgiven by God read, “How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian” at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9
1. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV).
2. Psalm 32:4-5 (NLT).
3. I John 1:9 (NIV).