Last night was a powerful night of Bible study. With a room full of women crowded into my little living room, we looked truth in the eye, and I pray that we left set free! It has amazed me how often I’ve found myself in conversation with other Christians that find themselves bound by the ugly stronghold of guilt. It’s been on more than one occasion that I’ve heard redeemed people utter these false and deceiving words:
“God could never forgive me…I’ve gone too far.”
Heartbreaking. Devastating. Yet, an all too common reality for many – that’s God’s grace could never cover my sin.
Guilt is rooted in the enemy of our faith. Satan loves nothing more than to deceive us into believing that our sin has simply outdone what God’s grace can cover. Someone, somewhere out there needs to hear this truth today:
God’s grace is enough.
His mercy is unfathomable.
His forgiveness is readily available to all who come to Him.
No one who is in Christ needs to remain in guilt. It is a stronghold that we can and must be set free from. Guilt paralyzes us in our sin, forcing us to believe that we can never change. Godly sorrow mobilizes us to action (repentance) that brings about change (salvation). We must get this! And what is a godly sorrow? We need to understand what this is since salvation hinges on this very thing.
Godly sorrow: a change of heart resulting in complete agreement with God over the matter of sin.
In short, godly sorrow is seeing sin as God sees it and having the same reaction to sin as He does. Sin GRIEVES the heart of God. Did you know that? When was the last time you grieved over something? I’m talking shoulder wracking sobs kind of grief; pain of heart; sorrow. This is God’s reaction to our sin. When we get to the place where we truly grieve over our sin, we find ourselves in godly sorrow, and Scripture tells us that it leads to salvation.
On the contrary, a worldly sorrow leads to death. That’s a harsh statement if I ever heard one. What does that mean?
Worldly sorrow: characterized by a resentment over our sin’s consequences and culminates in actions that seek to hide the behavior, often times represented by a fear of being found out.
Have you ever felt sorry about something that you did simply because you got caught? Not a godly sorrow. This is a worldly sorrow, and Scripture warns us that if we venture down this road too far, it will end in death – spiritual death.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve come too far and gone through too much to throw in the towel now. I want to think and act like Jesus. I want sin to grieve me so much that even the temptation to sin when presented to me will literally disgust me. I want to call sin “sin” and stop excusing any form of it in my life. I want the mind of Christ in all matters. Do you?
If you’re struggling with guilt, shame, and being bound by condemnation, I would encourage you to respond in prayer today by reading through Psalm 51 – David’s heartfelt and genuine lament over his own sin and his cry of repentance. Let the words of this Psalm be your prayer today. God is able to create in you a pure heart. His mercy never fails. And He will always respond favorably to the repentant sinner. Always.