Breaking the Chains: Silencing Guilt

By Katy Kauffman

She walked into the house, desperate to find Jesus. Her life had been filled with sin, guilt, and shame. The haunting melody of guilt had followed her, had crept into her soul. But she heard Jesus sing a different song, one of mercy and forgiveness. His words taught that it was possible to turn from sin and receive God’s forgiveness. His actions showed that He cared for everyone, even a sinner like her. She understood the gospel and craved its mercy. She accepted the truth and turned from her lifestyle of sin and heartache. So she had to find Him.

This woman wanted to thank Jesus and show just how much she loved Him and the restoration He gave. When she found Jesus in the house, she didn’t even approach His face, but knelt at His feet and wept. Her anguished soul found hope in the Savior. She dried His feet with her hair and anointed them with oil, costly oil bought with the money she had gained from her sinful, miserable lifestyle. This was her gift of love to Him, but not everyone understood it.

In this house full of religious people, guilt’s eerie melody started again, and the host of the home sang it.  

Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this,
he spoke to himself, saying, "
This man, if He were a prophet,
would know who and what manner of woman

this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
Luke 7:39 NKJV

Jesus answered the man with a different song, a story of two debtors. Both owed a creditor money, one of them a small sum and the other ten times that, and both debts were forgiven. Jesus asked the host who would love the creditor more. The Pharisee’s answer was the debtor who had been forgiven more.

Then Jesus directed His song of mercy and forgiveness to the woman:

Your sins are forgiven. Luke 7:48 NKJV

and

Your faith has saved you. Go in peace. Luke 7:50 NKJV

Does the haunting melody of guilt follow you wherever you go? Does its melody steal your joy? Does its lyrics keep you from freely drawing close to God? Have you heard any of these lyrics before?

You can’t draw close to God—you are too sinful.

How many times have you given in to the same sin?

You’re not good enough for God to love you.

 Jesus’ forgiveness silenced the melody of guilt for this woman in the Bible. He can silence it for us. What lyrics can we hear in Jesus’ song?

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9 NKJV

Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. John 8:11 NKJV

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46 NKJV

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NKJV

Let God’s song of love and forgiveness be the melody that you hear and hold onto. Drown out all other negative lyrics with His truth, and find rest in His forgiveness. Be energized to follow Him daily, and never forget the reality that in Christ, you’re forgiven and  you’re loved.

Implement these strategies to silence guilt in your life and to move forward with God in freedom and joy.

 

The Strategies

1.       Drown out guilt’s haunting melody with God’s song of love and forgiveness. Read Scripture to remember your reality in Christ—you are forgiven (Eph 1:7), loved (John 15:9), accepted (Eph 1:6), and commissioned (1 Peter 4:10).

2.       Move past the consciousness of your sin to drawing close to God (Hebrews 10: 19-22). God wants us to draw close to Him, and Jesus’ death for our sins makes it possible.

3.       When you feel guilty because your past sins have affected someone else, trust God that He will take care of that person, and make amends if possible. We can’t undo our past actions, but we can choose good now, and we can ask God to help those affected by our poor choices.

4.       Don’t let the past define you. See yourself as God does (see Ephesians Chapter 1), and find your identity in Christ.

5.       Don’t let the past keep you from serving God now. Jesus graciously forgave and restored Peter after he had denied Jesus (John 21:15-17). Walk with God from this point forward, because He has work for you to do.

6.       Let go of the emotional turmoil that guilt causes, and walk in joy and gratefulness. Feeling guilty or sorrowful over our sin is good so we confess it and repent. But allowing guilt to imprison us and paralyze us is not. When God’s people understood how much they had broken God’s law, they wept. But God’s message to them was to practice the ways of His Word and to have joy. His joy would be their strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy and gratefulness give us strength to move past our forgiven sins to following God and serving Him.

7.       Rest in the matchless love that God has for you. He gave His Son so that you wouldn’t have to suffer forever without Him. Find rest and peace in the love of God, and share His love with others. We can love much because we have been forgiven much.

Which strategy above would help you to silence guilt? Have you seen God already work these strategies into your life? Share your thoughts in the comments, and may God’s mercy and peace quiet your heart and sustain it.

 

© Copyright 2016 by Katy Kauffman

 

guilt, shame, overcoming guilt, spiritual bondage, Breaking the Chains: Silencing Guilt, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (15)

  • anon

    Beautiful post, Katy.  Guilt is a joy stealer.   Thank you for the strategies.  When I first became a believer I did a study on guilt.  I still quote the verses to myself where I feel guilty   Isaiah 6:7b " your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."  also  Romans 8:1  There is therefore NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"
    God is so good to lavish His grace and mercy upon us.  Thank you for this beautiful post.

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Cherrilynn, for sharing those verses and your thoughts. Guilt definitely is a joy stealer, and keeps us from the fullness of life with God. But like you said, God is very good to lavish His love on us. I am so grateful! Thank you for stopping by and commenting today!
     

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Katy, thank you for this post. I especially love the strategies you shared. I especially like numbers 4 and 5. As I meet with women, I see many who let their past define them and hold them back today. Great reminders and practical steps to move forward!

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Crickett, for your thoughts! I appreciate your insight as a women's ministry leader. We can't let sin that's been forgiven define who we are! God is too gracious to let that happen. 
     

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    trying to move on from my past - these tips help!

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    May God bless you as move on, Andrea. :) I'm glad you said they help!
     

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    This is a great post, Katy. Guilt can be debilitating, robbing us of joy and preventing us from walking out God's plan for our lives.
    When put to use, your strategies can save someone's life and future.
    Excellent advice!

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you for your comments, Connie! It does rob us of joy and freedom. But God wants us to draw close to Him and still take sin seriously. He is a gracious Father who cares about our well-being. Thank you for visiting and sharing!
     

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    This is such a great reminder Katy.  Sometimes I think we can see guilt as a form of humility.  But God has shown me that it's a form of unbelief, that He didn't really forgive me and cleanse me from whatever I'm feeling guilty about.  Thanks for sharing!

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    I can see how guilt could be seen as humility. But repentance involves humility, and I'm so grateful that if we're poor in spirit--broken over sin--we can move forward with God in forgiveness and restoration. Thank you for sharing that, and God bless you, Stephanie!
     

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Some beautiful healing truths here Kathy.  Actually it reminds me of a phrase from the Bible of no longer having a sin consciousness.  The enemy wants to keep us in a place of sin consciousness and will often use our shame, guilt and unworthiness to keep us there.
    Thank you so much for your words 

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you for sharing that, Florence. Hebrews 9 and 10 helped me so much with remembering God's gracious love and forgiveness, and then moving past being focused on past sins. Thank you for visiting and sharing!
     

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Beautifully written, Katy. I'm so glad that God's grace drowns out all our guilt--and you've got great strategies for overcoming it.

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Leigh. I'm so glad too. His grace is limitless!
     

    Feb 23, 2016
  • anon

    "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 English Standard Version)."

    Feb 23, 2016

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The Scrapbooked Bible Study: A Blog by Katy Kauffman

Award-Winning Author, Editor, Bible Teacher

An editor for Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Katy Kauffman is also a Bible study author who loves to write about the treasures of Scripture. Her Bible studies focus on winning life's spiritual battles, and her blog shares snippets of "scrapbooked" encouragement. Learn more about The Scrapbooked Bible Study, and follow Katy's blog to receive weekly posts. 

 

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