3 Steps to Help You Drop the Weight of Guilt
Guilt gets heavy. Really heavy. When we have to carry around the shame and regret of past mistakes, the load becomes unbearable. The ability to press on becomes intolerable. Our lives grind to a halt and we feel buried by the guilt of a past we can’t change, a present that seems defeated, and a future that appears to be no better. Is there any hope? Can I move beyond the hopelessness that guilt brings?
The answer is “Yes!” In Christ, you can move beyond the shame of past mistakes and the regret of poor choices. You do not have to continue to carry that weight. The journey is so much better without that load. You can experience so much more when you are no longer lugging around the excessive baggage that God wants to take off of you. Here is the truth of the Bible: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV). Let that sink in. In Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Some say: “C’mon. No condemnation. All people have stuff in their past that they wished they had not done.” Correct. But, not everyone is carrying it around every day. Have you overcome your past or are you still hauling it around? Doesn’t it get heavy?
Here are three steps to take to be able to live without the weight of guilt:
1. Stop piling it on
Until your guilt causing activities cease, regret will continue to pile up on you. The biblical word for changing this behavior this is “repent.” Something has to change. Until the sin that brings about the guilt stops, you will never be free from guilt. When God through His Holy Spirit convicts your heart of a sin, you need to confess it, agree with God that it is wrong, and change your direction in that area of your life. You can never unload guilt if more guilt keeps taking its place.
2. Be willing to forgive yourself
This step may be the most difficult. Our shame and guilt is ever-present and oppressive. The only way to sweep it out of our lives it to take God at His word. The Lord is the One who has said, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That’s His promise. He said that. Will you believe it? Until you receive in faith what God has said to be true, you will never experience for yourself the promise of what God is offering. He is the One who has promised no condemnation.
That means no guilt and no shame. You have to grab hold of that truth in faith. When you believe God at His word, you can drop the guilt, and you do not have to carry it around anymore. Once a sin is forgiven, God says that He does not condemn you anymore. Why do you continue to condemn yourself through the guilt, shame, and regret? Lay that down and never pick it up again.
3. Revel in the peace of God
In place of the guilt, you can have peace, love, and joy in its place. Enjoy the peace that comes from being relieved of the oppressive guilt. Walk in the love that comes from experiencing a God who will forgive every sin and bring the freedom of relating to Him. Bask in the joy of laying down the shame and knowing the relief of not having to carry it anymore. Rather than guilt, God wants to give you a meaningful walk with Him.
No condemnation from God means we can lay down the guilt and shame and find great relief and a lighter load in life. The past can be a very heavy burden to carry. But, it does not have to be thanks to Jesus. Stop carrying that weight by moving forward in the truth of “no condemnation.”