10/28/2004

SHARING IT WITH EVERYONE WE MEET 4

Feeling guilty? Did you do it….AGAIN?

And did you try to ask God to forgive you right after you did it?. But somehow, you STILL feel guilty? Do you imagine God as being just one more time away from giving up on you, from saying, “You’ve had enough chances”?

When you think of God, do you find yourself ashamed? Do you crawl to Him sheepishly? Do you approach him on egg shells?

Is God angry with you today, just as He must have been yesterday, and the day before that? In fact, isn’t He angry with you all of the time? After all, how could He not be, with all of the sin in your life?

If you have felt like this today, or any day, I want to encourage you. The view of God drawn above is false. He is not angry with you. He is not GLARING at you. He is not ignoring you.

When I feel guilty, I go to God with it. Sometimes I have to go three or four times, before I finally understand that I’m forgiven. I don’t know why I don’t understand it the first time. Maybe it is my innate sense of justice. Maybe it is my unbelief. Maybe it is a demon, whispering to me a big fat LIE.

Whatever the reason, this is the way I am, and I am thinking there are a lot more people like that out there. Somehow, I feel as though this is a common problem. But the truth is, we don’t have to be afraid. We are no longer dealing with an angry God. There is now, therefore, no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. (Romans) Absolutely none.

For just a while tonight, if you are willing, think about what it means to feel no condemnation. Think about what it means to carry no guilt or shame. Think about what it would mean to offer that to everyone you see, instead of the guilt and shame we think defines us.

Yep, Bruce had it right a short while back. Guilt and shame is one of the top reasons why we don’t share the gospel with everyone we meet. God has changed that. Do you believe it?

2 comments:

Messy Christian said...

I don't really know how it feels like without guilt and condemnation, to be terribly honest with you ... it's a foreign concept to me for a long, long time. Only know do I truly understand that God meant what he meant when it came to Grace. I've always thought that, well, he loves ya - but make sure you do a - z to maintain that love relationship. So, I often feel as if I've not measured up enough ... thus the condemnation, then the guilt ..

Tom Reindl said...

Hi MC,

First, don't let my post make you feel guilty about feeling guilt and shame. I just wrote it to bring to light something I think a lot of people hide, exactly because they think they shouldn't be feeling it. Well, the truth is, we DO feel it, and there isn't any denying it.

In part, it can be a little road to worship. If we see God even a little as He is, then we are bound to know that even though we have this gift of the Spirit, we are still not in the flesh a pure person. Is it possible our Spirit cries out in recognition of that? And if so, can it not be a cry of praise to God for how Absolute, how pure, how perfect He really is?

MC, I think you are the one of the brightest, most approachable people I have ever talked with. So your perception of the way you are is at least somewhat skewed by guilt and shame. You probably don't see what I see, or what others see. Maybe it follows logically then, that it is a long stretch for us to see what God sees. Maybe it's just enough right now to know He sees us differently, through Jesus Christ, as made whole and restored, and as being made whole, and being restored. Is that enough? Can seeing yourself in part as someone who has no condemnation help?

You know the truth, and I do, too. I still sin. But I am not a sinner anymore. Christ did that FOR me. I am a saint who sins, but I am a saint no less than if I were a saint who never sinned. That is enough, and getting there in my mind and heart sometimes takes some doing. But I get there. I hope you get there, too. :)