through His Word
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
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.
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