Guilt. It’s a horrible beast. It robs us of joy. Of hope. Of confidence that in Jesus, our sins really ARE covered in His grace. Guilt lies to us, and wants us to believe we’re not worthy of forgiveness, and that God doesn’t love us nearly enough to forgive that thing we did.
Even more than that, a guilty, worried conscience causes us to take our eyes off of Jesus. Guilt is best friends with shame, and the two of them bring their sleeping bags and plan to stay as long as we’ll let them. They make a lot of noise, and when we open our Bible to receive truth from Jesus, they throw popcorn at us to distract us. They interrupt our prayer with incessant taps on the shoulder. “Come on. You’re barking up the wrong tree. Stop asking forgiveness, it’s not coming.”
Years ago when trying to explain to a child their worthiness in God’s eyes, the Lord gave me an example that illustrates it perfectly: a puppy. A little dog has an accident on the floor, and while we get mad at having to clean it up, and the dog’s disobedience can be frustrating, we certainly still love that puppy. If you’re anything like me, the anger disappears quickly with just one little puppy tongue slobber! That is an example of how God relates to us. He loves us dearly, even though our failures fall short. Forgiveness comes instantly when we turn to Him.
The truth is that as daughters and sons of God, we are covered by Jesus in His righteousness. Our sins ARE forgiven. Erased. Gone. Not brought up over and over.
Once forgiven, God doesn’t keep thinking of that sin every time He thinks of us. When our heavenly Father looks our way – He sees Jesus. He sees us wrapped in His grace.
What a cause of celebration as we near Easter!