Christian Living · Free

THE GUILT-STRICKEN CHRISTIAN.

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The weight of wickedness is heavy as lead trying to catch its descent is like stopping a falling rock in a spider’s web. Its thin silk thread begins to snap and all that is left is the residue that sticks between the cracks. It all ends with a slip into a bottomless pit, grips the heart in the man’s chest until swallowing death…The smallest white lie is enough for being indictable. The size of sin so big it causes a cosmic fraction and Hell is the only relevant response to righteous reaction. That is what our sinful actions earned us, but God took upon Himself the weight of sin reserved for us; a weight so significant that only the blood of an innocent one is acceptable and worthy. So rather, than make light of it or minimize the size of it, we should marvel at the magnitude of mercy. – Beautiful Eulogy, The Size of Sin.

Verse reference Matthew 27: 3-10

The chief priests, in a satisfied stance led Jesus away to Pontius Pilate. The end was near.

The young man, half walking half running rushed past the sidewalks heading towards the temple. He had to find the teachers of the law. The men he had easily taken money from to betray his Master. He had to return the thirty pieces of silver if only to appease his conscience, slowly gnawing at him. He replayed the last moments in the garden, the condemning kiss, the arrest. It all flashed before his eyes against the time spent with Jesus.

He is innocent

He was afflicted in mind. He entered past the huge doors into the temple, approaching the teachers of the law. Guilt clenching his stomach into a hard rock.

I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.

He managed to stutter. His voice acknowledging failure.
Little contemptuous smiles tagged at their mouths . One of them spoke up,

What is that to us?

That is your responsibility!

Another added with a shrug. An unbothered look on his face.
The young man was mortified. They had to take it back! He slowly threw the money in the temple and as he turned back to flee the scene he could hear the  clinging sounds of the coins on the temple floor. Guilt followed him close behind. It was unforgivable; he ran further away from the crowd that was beginning to gather. Without a sense of direction he ran. The guilt, the shame, the self loathe always following close behind.

When they found him he was up on the tree, his body dangling, face contorted in grimace. Judas Iscariot had found himself guilty. The sentence was death.

MASKS OFF

There are times in the Christian walk when I hit a dead end. Oft because of a sin. A thorn in the flesh. A persistent weakness. That one struggle. That one that does not seem like it can be overcome. The after effects are normally feelings of unworthiness and weariness.

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You do not really feel like you belong or even want to be in the presence of God. It may be a recurring sin or a past mistake. It may be just sin. The trigger may differ but the next few moments/days are clouded by a state of perpetual sin consciousness. Where all the focus is on that one sin. That mistake. And how we easily cover up. How we put on masks and go on with life, hiding it deep down. Our heads may be easily parted from the depth of guilt, but our hearts are not so lightly healed. For we know deep down, we are not truly at peace. These are real issues happening to christians who like to think of themselves as spiritual. The weight of sin can not be so easily ignored.
In light of this, I recently had an epiphany. Right in the middle of washing dishes. (A dishwashing epiphany.) The story of the betrayal and denial of Jesus came to mind. Here were two men, Judas and Peter. Jesus called both. Both had walked with Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss on the cheek for thirty pieces of silver. Peter ran from the crowd that arrested Jesus. He did not stand up and acknowledge Jesus as his friend or master; in fact, he denied even knowing him. Not once or twice, thrice! He could not even say his name while making those denials. They failed and their sin revealed their weakness. At the end of it all Judas overwhelmed with guilt looked for a tree and hang himself while Peter’s guilt led him to weep bitterly and he went back to fishing. Judas let his guilt consume and overwhelm him to death. Peter stuck out. He stood.

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FEELINGS VS. FACTS. THE BATTLE.

1st John 2:1-2

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. – NKJV

Romans 3:21-24

Bible the Message

But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

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There are plenty of times where we let guilt overwhelm us and we eventually die. Not necessarily physically but spiritually. We will not get it right every day. There are days when we will slip and fall. Even when we fall, let us not think that we shock or surprise Jesus. He knows it all. On these days, the feelings of unworthiness and guilt should not consume us. The reason we are laid down and afflicted by guilt is because we associate our peace with our performance but grace, grace is more about who we are than what we can do. Who we have been made to be by Jesus rather than what we can do for Him. Jesus died to free us from a performance-based religion. He has called us into a relationship characterized by grace.  When we are overcome with guilt, we do not hide away in remorse and feelings of inadequacy, we take it to Jesus. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way , just as we are-yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15). God has not left us to deal with our guilt alone, but he has taken the initiative, while we were yet sinners to seek our acquittal and to offer it to us freely. (Romans 5:18) the beauty of it all is that the one before whom we are guilty and condemned has replaced our grief with reconciliation and righteousness. Present yourself just as you are before God and let him lead you to a place of rest. To a renewal from the inside out. To a place of peace. Should we therefore be comfortable as we sin because Jesus paid the price? Certainly not! Grace should not lead us to assume an attitude of recklessness. When we encounter grace, we should be led to a place of rest even as Christ works in the background. Christianity is not based on feelings but facts. Choose to be won over by the facts rather than the feelings.

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Romans 8:38-39

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord – NKJV

So we pray for strength of the power of His Holy Spirit so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. That we would have the strength to comprehend together with all the saints. The height, depth, and length. The love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. Filled with the fullness of God. The size of grace. – Beautiful Eulogy, The size of Grace.

Photos: Courtesy

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