The Burden of False Guilt

Daily Devotional.
InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Read | John 14:26-27

Jesus Comforts His Disciples
 1“Do not let your heart be troubled; [a]believe in God, believe also in Me.  2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  4“And you know the way where I am going.”  5Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”  6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Oneness with the Father
 7“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”  8Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  9Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  10“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.  11“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.  12“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  13“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14“If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Role of the Spirit
 16“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.  18“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  19“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.  20“In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  21“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”  22Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”  23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  24“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.  25“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.  26“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  27“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.  28“You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you ‘ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  29“Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.  30“I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;  31but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me Get up, let us go from here.

Guilt is an emotional response to wrongdoing. We experience it when we break man’s civil law or God’s commandments. But what about those times when no law was broken, and yet we feel as if we did something wrong? That is false guilt, an unnecessary and often crippling emotion.

False guilt may come from a traumatic childhood in which the young person blames himself for problems over which he had no control. This pattern of blaming oneself can carry over into adulthood. Perhaps we face criticism for failing to meet the expectations of employers or family. Their verbal abuse can wear us down until we see ourselves as unworthy or useless. We end up feeling guilty for not meeting someone else’s expectations.

Some of us are perfectionists who try to do everything right the first time. Since no one can always do things flawlessly, guilt is a frequent companion. Yet we have not violated any scriptural law. If we find ourselves thinking, I should have done more or I could have performed better, we may be falling into the perfectionism trap. There are instances when our efforts are not what they should be, but that isn’t a reason for guilt. If there is no breaking of God’s law, then our negative feelings are not based in fact.

Christians will make errors in judgment and experience conviction as a result. First John 1:9 tells us to turn to God and confess our sin. If there’s no biblical or civil basis for guilt, then ask the Lord to help you disconnect from the feeling of false guilt and replace it with the peace Jesus promised.

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About jam4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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