Saturday, December 16, 2006

Isaiah 8:1-15; Psalms 30, 32; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18; Luke 22:31-38

I am a guilt-ridden girl! As you know, there is healthy guilt, the kind that gets me to the gym most mornings. Then, there’s the unhealthy guilt that questions whether I shouldn’t have used that hour or so to spend quality time with my “kids” (my dog and my cat) instead. (Currently, I’m experiencing a huge amount of guilt over the fact that this article is going to be a day late!)

I don’t know where all of this guilt comes from, or how I’ve come to nurture it so. After describing a situation to a friend recently, during which I expressed how awful I felt for missing a certain lady’s funeral service (I didn’t even know she had passed away), my friend said, “Girl, you need to let go of some of that guilt!” True.

Notice, though, that neither of the situations I described involved any real “sin” on my part (and yes, I do sin, more frequently than I care to admit!). The beauty of God’s grace, as described by David in Psalm 32, is that by confessing our sins to God we are freed from the burden of guilt that often accompanies sin. I know, I know, this is nothing new.

But it was new to me once, just as it was to David, and what a difference it made in my life! Prior to knowing and understanding God’s grace, not only did I have the guilt of the gym, the “kids,” the unanswered e-mails, the missed birthdays, the visits I should’ve made (I could go on and on), I also had the overwhelming guilt of my sins! Now that I can confess my sins to God, and be relieved of that burden of guilt, I am free to move away from those sins rather than continue to dwell on them. Talk about letting go of some guilt!

- Jennifer Hartig

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