Guilt Be Gone
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."1
The story is told about the old-time circuit-riding preacher who was visited by three men. They came to confess to him that twenty years before they had loaded his horse and buggy with a load of heavy rocks and hidden them so he wouldn't see them. They wanted to apologize because they still felt guilty about it for all these years. To which the preacher replied, "You have carried these rocks for twenty years. I only carried them for a day."
Simple story. Profound truth. There are three things we can do with guilt. We can bury (repress) it from conscious memory and deny it. We can suppress it; that is, be consciously aware of it but not do anything about it. Or we can confess and resolve it.
To repress or suppress guilt can and does affect one's health and often one's relationships. But to confess it and put things right brings great freedom and healing.
As David said after he confessed to God his sin with Bathsheba, "There was a time when I wouldn't admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, 'I will confess them to the Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, if there is anything in my life that is hindering my relationship with you and/or others please bring it to my remembrance so I can confess it and, wherever possible and applicable, help me to right any wrongs I have done. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. James 5:16 (NIV).
2. Psalm 32:5 (NIV).
Note: If you have never received Jesus as your Savior or received God's forgiveness, I encourage you to do that today. To do so see "God's Invitation" at: www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or for further help read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.