Today’s Truth

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1 NIV).

Friend to Friend

Ah guilt! The gift that keeps on giving. Right?

Guilt is a powerful emotion that can overwhelm and paralyze us. We all struggle with something we have done or not done in our past. We have several ways to deal with past sin. We try to ignore it, explain it away, or do enough good works to cover that sin. Unfortunately, none of those methods will work.

When we ignore sin, it allows condemnation and guilt to build up in our lives, draining us and keeping us from moving forward. There is no explanation for our sin. We simply made the wrong choice. And we could never do enough good works to pay for our sin. But then Jesus came, and everything changed!

The Bible says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).

Have you ever heard of “Double Jeopardy?” It is a law principle that states you cannot be tried twice for the same crime. Now that is some great news!

Dan and I led a week-long youth revival for a large Korean church in Washington, D.C. At the end of the week, a lady from the church invited us to have dinner with her and the leadership of the church. We went to a wonderful but very expensive restaurant. When our hostess ordered one of each entrée on the menu because she wanted us to experience as much Korean cuisine as possible, my nerves vanished. She obviously had it under control – or so I thought.

I’m not really sure what I ate – but it was scrumptious! At the end of the meal, our hostess went to pay the bill. I could see her talking with the restaurant owner, and she was visibly upset. I was afraid she did not have enough money to pay what must have been an enormous tab. When she returned to the table, I asked if everything was okay. She smiled and offered an explanation that amazed me, “Someone from the church came in, saw us all eating together, and paid the bill. Now I do not have the honor of paying for your meal.” The manager apologized but said he could not accept any payment from her because the bill had already been paid.

We keep trying to pay for our sin when all we need to do is accept God’s forgiveness for it and leave it behind. God’s way almost seems too easy, doesn’t it? We ask for His forgiveness, and He gives it. Really? Really!

Jesus has already been tried for our sin. He was condemned, sentenced, and crucified to pay the bill for our sins. That’s not all! He rose from the dead to prove that God accepted His payment. So, if our sin has already been tried, and the payment has already been paid, we are no longer condemned, and guilt has no clout in our lives.

Then why is guilt so powerful? Because we allow it to manipulate our memories, and we listen to the enemy’s constant whispers about the past that is now covered by the blood and grace. Satan knows this truth, but do we?

I was praying this morning, moaning, and groaning over several sins in my past. Oh, I have asked the Father to forgive me for each one, but evidently I don’t think He did because they keep popping up in my heart and mind.

I have never heard the audible voice of God, but He seemed to shout this morning when He said, “What sins? I don’t remember them!” I literally stopped in my tracks as a sense of freedom and peace overwhelmed me. It was definitely an “Aha” moment.

When we surrender our hearts to Jesus and invite Him to take control of our lives, His grace covers it all! We are set free to live a grace-filled life instead of a guilt-ridden one. Are you in?

Let’s Pray

Father, I am so tired of trying to live each day, carrying the baggage of my past. Please give me the courage to face the sins I have tried so hard to bury. Help me turn away from each one, leaving it in Your hands. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace, Your mercy, Your love, and Your forgiveness.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you carrying around guilt for a sin that God has already forgiven? If so, what do you need to do with that guilt?

More from the Girlfriends

We live in a world filled with anger. As Christ-followers, we must learn to wage peace. If you need help, check out Mary’s MP3s, How to Get Past Your Past and The Power of Forgiveness.

© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

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8 Responses to “Want to Trade Grace for Guilt?”

  1. Avatar photo S says:

    I struggle with what to do about the guilt for all the pain I have caused my husband and family, for how I have ruined the marriage. I worry about the marriage ending and family breaking apart, because it seems very close. How can I let go of the guilt when I am living in the midst of this fall out?

  2. Avatar photo Carol says:

    Thank you for this am devotional.
    It is hard isn’t it? I know that I’ve been forgiven. I know Jesus met me at “my Samaria”; and even as old as I am, there are times my past sneaks into my memory and I feel the guilt you mentioned in this writing (I call it, the tattoos on my brain).
    Even though, the people that I hurt and deceived so many years ago, have passed; Jesus asked me to come to come to His source of “living water” (John 4:10) and He knows I accepted His kindness and forgiveness for all of my life!
    My salvation verse is ” As far as the east is from the west, so far He has removed our transgressions from us”! Isn’t that a wonderful thing? God’s forgiveness is so overwhelming, that I have to remind myself, I need to extend that same forgiveness to others (Eph. 4:32).
    Blessings to you, Mary. I hope all of us, who deal with guilt will read your devotion today and receive a blessing from the Lord of peace and acceptance.

  3. Avatar photo Maura McCoy says:

    We really love to hold tight to our “stuff” don’t we?
    Years ago, as a teenager just learning about Jesus’ miraculous forgiveness, I was told something I’ve never forgotten: when we confess our sin and ask forgiveness, the sin is forgotten before we even finish asking.
    I’ll forget what I had for breakfast this morning, but I remember my lesson about forgiveness from 50 years ago.
    Thank you, Mary, for your message, and for being there for all of us!

  4. Avatar photo Tonia Tanette Clark says:

    Yesss!!! Thank you Mary!!! Thanking God for His mercy and grace!!!

  5. Avatar photo Debbir says:

    Mary…Once again I am inspired and encouraged by this message this morning. In my younger years I lived my life in true rebellion against the wisdom and will of Our Father God.

    I was baptized 30+ years ago and my sin washed away by the blood of Jesus. I’m older now and though I can’t even imagine living my life without the leadership of God. When I ask forgiveness (quite frequently I might add) I believe I am forgiven. But, I still pick up my baggage (guilt) and carry it around with me. If I am not able to leave my sin AND guilt at the foot of the cross, Our Father’s sacrifice in the blood of his one and only son is in vain. The blood of Jesus is meant to wash away my sin AND the guilt. I believe carrying around guilt is a sin against God’s Grace upon me. Additionally guilt is a hindrance from receiving all of the best God has for me.

    I choose to accept the Grace of forgiveness 110%, learn from my transgression, and allow my heart to be cleansed as white as the snow. God deserves this from me and I desire to live in obedience and worship going forward. As always thank you for the much needed message today…blessings to you…Debbie

  6. Avatar photo Julie M. says:

    Just the message I needed today. Thank you!

  7. Avatar photo Angie says:

    Please pray for my granddaughter. She is just turned of age and left home. Her choices are very hurtful. Please pray she will turn back to God and her family.

  8. Avatar photo Abby says:

    Thank you Mary for your message Recently I have been thinking about pass sins as I struggle with guilt. I like Carol’s name for it.

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