Dealing with a Guilt Complex
ASK THE REV: Guilt Complex. I have grown up in my church with a great sense of guilt. The pastor teaches from Romans 3:23 "We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God". This means when we are before God we are always guilty of sin. My guilty conscience controls my life and causes me to be depressed all of the time. Is there any thing I can do with this feeling of guilt as a Christian?
First of all we need a definition of sin. Sin in the Old Testament is any immoral act. John the Baptist calls Jesus "the Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the world." Sin in the New Testament is separation from God or "missing the mark." "Sins" are the symptoms of this separation. When we are experiencing the Love of God we will do the loving thing as opposed to trying to do the loving thing to experience His Love. When Jesus became "Sin who knew no sin" 2 Corinthians 5:21, He did not commit an immoral act. He became separated from God. He became like us (sin), separated from God, and we became like Him, loved by God even when we are in Sin (separated from God).
Legalism is how we think out of the Presence. We try to do God's will to get into His Love.
Grace is how we think in the Presence. It is to be in God's love to do His will.
When we have the feelings of a guilty conscious, it is a sign we are out of His Presence. Under the Law, when we are out of the Presence of the Love of God, we confess our sins to be forgiven and to be loved by God. In grace, we get in the Presence of the Love of God to be forgiven. We confess our sins because we are forgiven. We were all forgiven two thousand years ago from the Cross. We can confess our sins standing before a harsh Judge to receive punishment or we can experience the Love of our best friend who would give His life for us to confess our sins.
It is not what you were thinking
It is how you are thinking.
Discover the difference between what and how you think. What you think about what you did is not the issue. How you think is the issue. What difference does it make if you are
confessing your sins to receive God's forgiveness
confessing your sins when you are in the forgiveness of God's Son, Jesus?
The choice is always yours.