Like cares and anxieties, guilt functions like a magnet
which pulls our focus irresistibly onto ourselves. Satan loves to
see us wallowing in guilt because such wallowing makes us
insensitive to the needs of others.
Why do we hold onto guilt? In questioning a child molester who
had been arrested, a policeman noticed the man had scars all the
way up both arms. The policeman thought the man may have been
tortured by an adult when he himself was a child. The policeman
pointed to the scars and inquired, "Who did that to you?" The man
responded, "I did it to myself."
What function does guilt perform psychologically? Guilt is a
way we try to suffer for our sins--a way we mentally punish
ourselves. Holding onto guilt is an effort to deal with our sins
apart from Jesus Christ.
Useless To Those Around Me
When I mentally punish myself for my sins, my focus becomes
riveted on myself. The person next to me might be dying inside,
desperately needing encouragement, but I'm not thinking about the
person next to me.
What is God's prescription for treating guilt? Our hearts are
made "clean from an evil conscience" by the blood of Christ.
(Hebrews 1O:22) When we sin, God instructs us to confess.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive
us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
God always forgives us when we approach Him on the basis
of Christ's sacrifice because Christ paid our debt in full upon
the cross. Be it adultery, abortion, child abuse, homosexuality,
divorce, murder, or whatever, Jesus' blood has power to cleanse of