Can God, Really?
Can God Really Forgive Me?
April 21, 1991
Read Romans 8:1
Have you ever felt like you are carrying a ball and chain of guilt around with you. Have you ever felt like the black cloud follows you wherever you go. I sure have. In fact I lived my life under severe guilt for several years, and I even knew this verse. I had it memorized, but it wasn't a practical reality in my life.
Back in my "younger years" I was a little wild and did some crazy things, I realize that's probably hard for most of you to believe, but anyway it's the truth. I wasn't just running around with the wrong crowd, I was leading them. After one night a bunch of us got into some serious trouble so I turned into a Monte Hall Christian - "Let's Make A Deal with God.!" God, if you please get me out of this, I promise I'll . . . I felt so bad. I had hurt my parents and hurt my family so I vowed things would be different. I then proceeded to live on a guilt trip for several years. I made all kinds of commitments to God, not because I was thankful for his forgiveness, but because I was really wanted to do something to earn God's forgiveness. I wanted God to accept me, I wanted my family to accept me so I began a guilt ridden trek that kept the pressure on me to do more and more. A guilt driveness. I fell into a performance trap. Transition: I wasn't able to really get a handle on my guilt and process it. I was unable to distinguish between true guilt and false guilt. And until I could make that distinction, I couldn't enjoy the freedom of God's forgiveness.
Point 1: Identify my guilt.
Much of pop-psychology today tells us that we need to learn to eliminate or dismiss feelings of guilt in our life. They are simply parental or authoritarian carryovers that we need to learn to ignore. What we have failed to realize and identify is that there is a healthy and vital role that guilt plays in our life that we must not ignore.
Guilt is a form of mental pain and ...
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