Monday, April 12, 2010

Guilt

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness. (Psalm 51:14 NAS)

Guilt If I were to count the number of things I have to make right or repair in the house, I would have to plead guilty many times round.

Many of us, like me, may also have to plead guilty to many things. Some of these may all be wrapped up in the excuse of not having enough time. Beyond that, however, some guilt may go further than just the things we did not do or the things we have done wrongly. Guilt such as neglecting our loved ones or people we know is serious enough, but certain guilt goes beyond negligence, and may include sin, sinful behavior and betrayal.

Not too long ago, I heard a sermon preached on the topic of 'Dealing with Guilt'. The speaker shared four common reactions by people faced with guilt: Rationalize, Rebel, Resign, and Respond.

Rationalize is about finding excuses or consoling ourselves that we are not that bad, usually in comparison to others. Such rationalization puts off our guilt to acknowledge sin as expectable or perfectly normal, since no one is perfect.

Rebel is about being overwhelmed with guilt to feel that there is no more hope but to continue dwelling in sin, since we are already in it anyway. The more attempts by people trying to bring us back, the more we run away to find a way of escape.

Resign is about resigning to fate or destiny. Fate, to those who do not believe in Jesus, is about living out the fact that what had happened had already happened, and there is nothing we can do to change it. Destiny, to believers, is to acknowledge that what had been predestined to happen will happen and nothing is going to change anyway, so why bother.

Respond is about responding in faith to repent and resolve to walk rightly henceforth. This requires more than confession and asking God to forgive us. It is the acknowledgment of the wrong we did, and the respond to want to correct and do something about it. We cannot, however, do it alone by our own strength, and we need to seek God to create in us a clean heart and renew us with a faithful spirit within (Psalm 51:10).

Let us, therefore, like King David in Psalm 51, respond to God positively in acknowledging our sins and seeking His forgiveness. Let us not rationalize, rebel, or resign, but come before God with a broken and contrite heart to repent, resolve and be renewed with a faithful spirit within us (Psalm 51:17).

Dear Lord, forgive us for sinning against You and against the people You have brought into our lives. Help us Lord to acknowledge our guilt and sin poignantly, rather than deny or react negatively in irrational ways. Put within our hearts Lord to want to respond positively to seek Your forgiveness in repentance, henceforth, resolving never to do the wrong we did ever again. Thank you, God, for forgiving and cleansing us. Free us Lord from our guilt and renew us that our tongues may joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

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