The burden of guilt
God’s design for every human being is that they would use their gifts and abilities to develop this world for His glory. Unfortunately, people often find themselves so weighed down by burdens that they themselves are incapable of doing the good they know they should.
Of all the burdens that people carry – ranging from health to finances to relationships and more – I’m convinced that the most oppressive burden of all is guilt.
Guilt has a way of infiltrating every aspect of your being and hindering you from doing what the Lord would have you do. This, of course, is why Satan delights in accusing people of their wrong, because it keeps them from fully contributing to God’s world.
A good example of the crippling effects of guilt can be seen in the story of Joseph and his brothers.
After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he eventually became the prime minister of Egypt. While in this position, a great famine came on the land, and his brothers were compelled to come before Joseph in Egypt for food (Gen.42).
As the story unfolds, it’s apparent that the brothers of Joseph were burdened by guilt years after they mistreated him.
Not only did guilt immobilize them from going down to Egypt in the first place, but it made them very fearful once they got there. Also, because of their bad conscience, they were incapable of receiving the good that Joseph extended to them, and they were inclined to behave in foolish and illogical ways.
Guilt still has the same effects today.
How many people are well aware of something they need to be doing today but just can’t bring themselves to do it because they are burdened by some misdeed of yesterday?
How many people spend their days nagged with the thought that their lives are doomed because they fear the wrong they have done will catch up with them?
Or, how many are there who are suspect of every kindness shown them because they know themselves to be unworthy?
I’m afraid the answer to all of these questions is that there are many.
But there is good news for the guilty.
God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for those who know their guilt and free them from living in a state of condemnation (Rom.8:1)
This is all part of God’s plan to restore humanity to its original design, and equip individuals to serve Him in this world.
Does guilt have you incapable of moving forward without fear? Then turn away from yourself and turn to Jesus Christ in faith. Lay your sins upon Him and shake off your guilty fears. Realize that you are His workmanship, and go do the good He has prepared for you to do (Eph.2:8-10).