Don’t you just absolutely and completely hate feeling guilty? In my opinion, the weight of guilt is just about one of the crappiest things human beings can feel. I mean, if you did something wrong and you’re guilty, you can’t change it! Whatever you did is now in the past, which means… the moment has passed! Guilt over your past wrongs is an oppressive and cruel feeling that grabs hold of your heart and stomach and just drags them to the ground. I mean, when you’re guilty of some wrong, you can apologize, and (depending on the person you offended) you might even be able to reconcile your relationship, but you can’t ever go back and change what you did. It’s done. You did that thing, period.
Man, I hate that feeling. Don’t you? I would rather beat my thumb with a hammer and then shave my face with a cheese grater than live with that dull, thudding pain of guilt. And folks, that’s what I absolutely love about the forgiveness of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, He took away our guilt. He actually bore our guilt on Himself (as if He had done all our wrong) and paid the penalty of all of it. Because of that, everybody who believes in Jesus is declared ‘Not Guilty’ from here on out for the rest of their lives: no penalty, no punishment, no parole… Just forgiven! And check this: the word they used way back in the Bible for ‘forgive’ comes from the word that means “to untie” which is the word the Bible uses for ‘divorce.’
In other words, those folks thought of forgiveness like we think about a divorce. It’s a permanent break-up. Wouldn’t you love to break up with your guilt!? Wouldn’t you love to tell your guilty conscience to take a hike!? One time I counseled a girl whose boyfriend had hit her. She was hurt and confused but I told her she needed to be brave and end it. I told her to look him right in the face and say, “This is over. You are not good for me. We are through. Hear what I’m saying and, respect the words. Officially. It’s over. Don’t call, don’t write, end of story.” Trust me when I tell you that was a very good thing, and wouldn’t you love to say that to your guilt?!
When Jesus forgives you of your sins, He wants you to know that they are GONE! As in, He will never remind you of them. Jesus will never bring them up. He says that He separates your sin from you as far as the East is from the West (and by the way, east and west never meet). He says He actually forgets them. And friends, that is what Jesus wants you to do. If you have believed in Jesus, the guilt of your sin is flat-out gone. If you find yourself feeling guilty about some thing that you did in the past, go to a mirror and say, “Listen up, guilt, that’s it. I’m breaking up with you. It’s over. It’s not you, it’s me. I don’t like who I am when I’m with you. Don’t call me, don’t text me. Don’t even think about driving by my house. I’m seeing somebody else, and He loves me. You and I are ancient history. We’re through! Peace!”
Can you imagine how good it will feel to be free of guilt?! Every time you feel guilty about something, go through that break-up speech again and eventually, you’ll get to where you don’t have to say it anymore because you just like being guilt free more than that other thing. And then, when you get that down, go find somebody you haven’t forgiven and untie them from the guilt of whatever they did to you. Take that drama by the horns and get rid of it. Set them free and let them taste the forgiveness you have in Jesus. Who knows… They might even want to know why you are the way you are and then you could tell them about Him.