I know that there are Christ-followers like me who are too hard on themselves. For years of faithfully serving the Lord, I had put the burden of “feeling guilty” upon myself even for unfounded reasons. I had believed that God was always on the lookout for my faults, however little they were. That He’s just waiting for me to slip up, make the wrong move, word, or thought, and He was there ready to pounce. Well, I hadn’t exactly imagined it that way, but I had punished myself into feeling guilty even before I knew what He was going to do about my slip-ups, shortcomings, and failures. That hard feeling on myself drove me to believe that God was displeased, even angry at me, and maybe He didn’t want to have anything to do with me. And because I was believing and feeling that, there were times I hardly knew how to present myself to Him but to cower and beg for mercy.
But I found out that if we punish ourselves for every single failure, mistake, or shortcoming that we didn’t even do wilfully, but only that we’re sometimes weak – WE CAN NEVER FEEL JESUS’ LOVE. When we willingly receive Satan’s serving of guilt in a silver platter and believe that Jesus is probably fuming about what we’ve done this time – we can think, feel, and even believe anything just for us to avoid presenting ourselves before Him. And that’s exactly what the devil wants: to alienate us from our Lord and King. He will use just about anything just so we’ll not feel the healing and comforting love of Jesus. And guilt is one of his powerful weapons. But know this:
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. (1 John 3:20-21)
Now, I’m slowly learning that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to draw us in love, not in fear. He wants to throw His net of love upon us and draw us to shore where His serving of grace awaits us. Now I’m really believing that Jesus’ love is far more powerful than any failure, mistake, or shortcoming I’ll ever commit. Or for those who are still needing salvation: His love is far greater than any sin they had ever committed. We’ve been in that place of abounding grace, too, when the Savior covered all our sins and washed us clean from every one of them. We should not forget that that grace, abundant and free-flowing, is always available to us whenever we seek Him, believing that He will always receive us in love.
I’m slowly believing that the Lord wants His children to flourish in His all-encompassing love, and not in crippling fear and all its products such as guilt, endless self-recrimination, self-hatred, etc. which, when we really examine them, are Satan’s weapons to draw us away from the Father’s love. So, let’s come before the Lord with our humble and contrite hearts believing that He’s always waiting for us with His love that never wanes.
(Photo courtesy of my cousin Bill Raras).
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Journey with Jesus,