Guilt is an electric quilt that will burn you up. No one should carry such a burden.
Shame will leave you lame and loaded with inner pain. But how do you shake off your blame?
The most commonly tried remedy for guilt and shame is denial. “Who are you to judge me? There’s nothing wrong with my thoughts, words, or behavior! I’m not guilty of anything! My lifestyle is nothing to be ashamed of!”
The only problem with denial is that it doesn’t work. Guilt and shame, like an undiscovered cancer, continue to secretly eat away our insides.
So how do you get rid of guilt and shame? By receiving forgiveness! But how do you receive forgiveness?
1) Face the facts. You have done wrong (and may still be doing wrong). Bring it out of your secret closet and openly admit it.
2) Then apologize to the living God for your wrongful thoughts, words, and deeds! Say, “God, I’m sorry for . . . ” and name them one by one.
3) Resolve to no longer think, say, or do your sins, no matter how difficult it is to overcome them and no matter how long it takes you!
4) Ask God to forgive you for each sin. Say, “God, I’m so sorry for ________. Please forgive me! Please change me inside and give me the power to live without it!”
5) Allow God to work in your heart, to bring you fresh insight, sorrow, tears, healing, and restoration. Let His Spirit move deeply in your innermost being and free you from the ravages of your guilt and shame. Let the living, resurrected Jesus Christ take over your life and live His life through you.
6) Stand by faith that you are forgiven based on these words from Scripture: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:9. And: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” –Romans 8:1
7) Every time you fall into a wrongful thought, word, or behavior; stop it and immediately ask God to forgive you for it. Don’t accept any new guilt or shame; but get up again and continue to give your all to follow and obey Jesus through out every single day.
8) If you have sinned against a person, apologize to her/him and ask her/him to please forgive you. Where possible make restitution to the person. Even if they refuse to forgive you, you have done your part and guilt and shame will lose its grip concerning that person.
9) Forgive everyone who has ever done you wrong.
10) Don’t get caught up in the forgive yourself myth. God’s forgiveness is what matters! If He says you are forgiven, then your own opinion is overridden by the fact that you are forgiven no matter how you feel.
Guilt-free living is wonderful! It’s not easy, but it is definitely worth the effort! Go for it today!