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GUILT-FREE HEART

Date: 
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Romans 8: 1-11

There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit – Romans 8:1                   

Redemption imparts to the Believer the possibility of a GUILT-FREE HEART: There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom.8: 1-2). Mortals make mistakes, and God’s Word says we all have sinned (Rom.3:23). No matter how long we’ve borned the distressing burden of guilt, in Christ there is No Condemnation or Guilt (Jh.3:17).                       

Guilt attacks the heart by creating in us an “I owe you” dynamic in relationships. Guilt chips away at our self-respect. Guilt is healthy when we do something wrong, but if unaddressed it will get our heart out of rhythm. The devil wants to keep us on an endless guilt-trip, but God wants for us to stop beating ourselves up, and take back our Joy. Guilt is tiring. Guilt weakens; and it’s not God’s way for us, but the enemy’s plan: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jh.10:10). God forgives absolutely (Psa.103:13; Eph.1:7).

Many Believers torture themselves under a consistently heavy sigh of “false guilt”: the feeling of guilt even though one hasn’t actually done something wrong. Many expend much emotional energy feeling guilty about their daily lives; the real and legitimate choices they made in family and career lives, including, not living up to some societal standard of perfection. Believer, break that Guilt Habit!

Guilt manifests in many ways: Beating yourself up for past regrettable choices, mistakes or imperfections; feeling as though you can never do enough; paying more than you have to; saying “yes” when the best answer is “no”; letting others guilt-trip you; allowing others to repeatedly overstep boundaries; accepting dysfunctional behaviour as though it’s normal; not speaking up when you need and want to; making decisions out of remorse and obligation; and feeling indebted indefinitely to someone who did you a favour.

False guilt attracts self-sabotaging thoughts that rehash shortcomings, unmet expectations, or the error one hasn’t forgiven oneself for. It holds happiness hostage and dampens the heart with this broken record of self-criticism. God wants us to live in His grace; and to reset our expectations to let go of guilt. A fast way to undo guilty feelings is to adjust our expectations to align with God’s expectations of us. Guilt comes from three broad categories of unhealthy expectations:

Vague Expectations: We can’t really measure the results. For example, “You should do more”! How much is more? And what should we “do” exactly? Without specifics, we never know when we’ve done enough.

Outdated Expectations: Holding on to old expectations in a new season or after a life-change such as a new job, relationship change, financial change, health change, or relocation.

Others’ Expectations: Sometimes what others want isn’t what we want, what God wants for us, or simply isn’t realistic. Yet, fear can lead us to take on the burden of others’ expectations as a way to avoid uncomfortable conversations or rejection. Until we each accept and embrace the unique life and purpose He created us for, we’ll feel guilty for not living the life we think others expect of us!

Even in the face of Sin, the way out from Guilt is Confession: Agreeing to the fact of the wrong(s) we’ve done, ready for repentance and restitution as steps toward change (1Jh.1:9). We defeat guilt when we swallow pride, humble our self, own up to the wrong, and take steps to make our relationships right. Confession relieves and frees our heart from guilt, so we can freely love. Secrets lose their power when exposed to light. Consequences of confession are far less severe than the penalties of concealment: “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy” (Pro.28:13, NLT).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, as we humbly confess and repent, grant us a GUILT-FREE HEART that lives in Grace and Your expectations of us, in Jesus name.
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