Walking Out Of The “Guilt” Closet

Walking Out Of The “Guilt” Closet

Sister Miki Terayama - 8 August 2021

Weekend Devotion: Walking Out Of The "Guilt" Closet

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Sins are a part of us. And with sins, they are accompanied by a dear friend called Guilt. Guilt, unlike most sins, are hidden and subtle. It stays in a closet of our hearts and makes its appearance from time to time. But what makes it a lethal weapon of faith is that it continues to haunt us, cripple us and remind us of how “lousy” we can be because of some past and even present struggles with sins. Now fact is, “feeling bad” for something we have done is needed. It is almost like an alarm put in us to realise something is off, or we have gone on an undesirable path. But we must be wary of where this guilt leads us to. Many times, when my own feelings of guilt are not dealt with rightly in God, it turns into accusations or even a defensive mechanism that acts up on similar situations. Like when my husband asked if I have done the laundry, it could just be a question but because I am already accused from laziness, I could be  defensive and questioning his intention of asking that. Then, of course, leading to frustration. Brothers and sisters, we are often attacked in our hearts and minds like that, so we really got to go back to God’s truth and reexamine the state of our lives. What causes us to be entangled by these moments of guilt and accusations? Is it because I am so powerless and helpless before them? Is it the crippling fear that stands before me? That someone might find out what I have done? Judge me? Actually, what is scarier than fear is guilt. Just as Adam and Eve realised she has sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit, it was her guilt of disobedience that brought her into fear and the act of hiding from God. Many times, guilt is the root reason of us turning away from God. So how do we resolve this?

Out Of Guilt, Into His Mercy

Now only through the gospel of God can we receive real healing and liberation in this area. Because here in Romans 3:23 it says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So we cannot just cry it out or wish our guilt away because sins are always before us. Then in Romans 4:6-8 it says, “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” The key phrase here is “God credits the righteousness apart from works.” We often live before men according to how we act and speak and behave. And when we can do well, that is how we can come before the Lord. But here, God looks at the blessedness of a person beyond our works. He looks at our willingness to come to Him, to face Him time and time again, whether we do well or fail in areas of our lives. Guilt makes facing God a hard thing for us but when we do so in spite of the pulling accusations within us, it is a step of acknowledging our sins and wanting to receive mercy and forgiveness from the Lord. We cannot receive God’s love when we do not understand and experience the extent of His mercy for our every sin. And that is the essence of the gospel. It is when we are helplessly trying to prove we are okay, we are good, that God tells us we have sinned and we can never reach complete righteousness on our own terms, but only through the mercy of God’s hands, do we receive liberation from handing to steering wheel back to the Author and Perfecter of our life. From here, you will realise 2 things as your faith matures in understanding the Lord’s mercy in your guilt.

  1. Firstly, you will have new found hope and joy in God’s glory. As it says in Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Now what does this new found hope and joy in the glory of God mean? This means that even in Jesus’ second coming, we have an unshaken assurance that we have received His mercy and redemption from all our sins. This itself drives out guilt because not only do we see God’s hands upon us, we look beyond our past hopes of gaining approval or some successes of the world from our appearance and act, but in the Lord’s plan for us. Our meaning of hope and purpose shifts to take part in God’s glory, for His people.
  2. Next, you will see that God uses trials in our lives to bring us into this hope, to experience the outpouring of God’s love for us. Now brothers and sisters, we are met with many kinds of struggles in life, so God wants to bring us into this genuine hope in Him, so that we can stand strong in the raging seas.   ” Let us not lose hope or feel forsaken during times of challenges or weaknesses. God is always trying to bring us into a state where we can purify our hope against the influences of the world. You see, we can always still go to church but yet still feel bounded by sins. We can listen to a sermon yet our hearts can be unable to take in the goodness of the Word because of accusations. So at times, our trials are to push us out of this vicious cycle and into another one that seeks and experience God’s counsel and help to find strength and drive out the voices and forces of darkness. Once we have restore this hope in Him, we will realise what God’s love truly means. Not to put our hope in matters of this world, not to put our self worth on the people around us, or what they think about us, but on God, and put God as the source of all our hope. From there, you will start to test and approve how God protects, strengthens and edifies you. This is true healing from our guilt. This is truly being able to step out of our “guilt” closet.

Being Out Of The “Guilt” Closet

Now once we are out of our own “guilt” closet, where do we go from here to stay guarded and be on a God-driven path? Well, guilt will always come and attack us whenever it finds a gap in our faith to act on. So here are a few things we can look into as we battle against guilt.

  1. Firstly, always act on the motive to love. It is not about how well we do, how we compare against others or how right we are. It is about whether we are following according to God’s will. So let us not aim to be perfect or merely well-liked. What we should aim for is despite our weaknesses, let all that we do be done in love as God instructs. So question the motives we have for the different goals and desires we have in life. Are we taking time to test and affirm God’s convictions, are we living before God? So as we are healing from guilt, let us also continue learning how to love others and be God’s vessel to minister to people, not merely focusing on ourselves.
  2. Secondly, we must be careful not to become Satan’s pawn in accusing others. Since we are well aware of the sinful nature in all of us and we want to learn act in love, we have to be careful. Especially in the words we speak. Let us not be quick to make others feel accused or blamed when an undesirable situation happens. We have to guard our tongue. When one has been forgiven, your love for others is one that is willing to forgive and protect their hearts. And even if need be for some timely rebuke, we do it out of love for their lives to wake them from spiritual slumber or to encourage them. So let us re-look into our areas of living, like at work, in school, at home, with friends and such.

    Brothers and sisters, may we all develop the graceful nature of the Lord, to understand the spiritual state of people and not let Satan have a chance to use you to accuse or cause accusations within you. When we continue to do this, people will see God’s love through you and we will find greater joy and satisfaction being God’s vessels.  God bless.
Miki Terayama

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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