It makes us uncomfortable. Like gum-soled shoes on a pavement, it stops us in our tracks. It gnaws away at our peace and disrupts our direction. Yet it stands as the force behind all repentance and hope for recovery. Guilt.
Some guilt results from an oversensitive conscience. We feel guilty if we forget a friend’s birthday. We feel guilty when accused, even if innocent. We feel guilty for not praying enough, reading the Bible enough, giving to the poor enough. And on the rare occasions when we sense no guilt, we feel guilty about not feeling guilty! No matter how hard we try, bad guilt hangs on like an annoying song we can’t get out of our mind.
But there’s another kind of guilt… “good guilt.” Good, because it stems from reality. The most succinct description of the valid base for guilt resounds in G.K. Chesterton’s oft quoted response to a journalist who asked the question, “What’s wrong in the world today?” Chesterton simply stated, “I am.”
His humble assessment was derived from a clear understanding that human nature is corrupt. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We don’t have to look far to verify the mark of sin in ourselves and in others. Irrefutable evidence exists that we indeed have much to feel guilty about. But God never intended for guilt to overwhelm us. He meant it to save us. And he has provided more irrefutable evidence to prove it.
The cross unveils the high price God paid to rescue us from guilt. Calvary proves beyond any and every shadow of doubt God loves us. It’s a truth that leads our guilty hearts to repentance. Through repentance we find forgiveness…and with forgiveness comes freedom from all that pesky guilt.
We no longer have to be stuck in guilt for even a nanosecond. Every day offers the opportunity to bring our guilts to Jesus and repent. He declares us innocent not because we deserve it, but because he has it covered. With his blood.
And that is irrefutable!