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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Free from Your Guilt Addiction

Some guilt is justified. It comes because of sin. Sin is simply a violation of God's glory. We were created for His glory. Falling short of that glory is sin. And, yes, that is much more than merely breaking onr or more of the Ten Commandments.

Yet, for some reason people are not content with feeling guilty for sin which neglects God's glory. They want to feel guilty for things that had nothing to do with their actions. Some women feel guilty after being raped. Some men feel guilty for being molested as boys. Some girls feel guilty for continuing to be molested by someone whom they trusted and loved. They believe that they could have fought harder. They believe they could have told but didn't. They believe they could have stopped it. They are so ashamed of what they didn't do because they were so afraid.

So, they bottle up their hurts and they live with their guilt. It is a false guilt. There is nothing to be ashamed of but they are very ashamed. False guilt just can't be distinguished from real guilt.

What are they really ashamed of? It is the fear they had when they "allowed" these others to hurt them. They want to have been brave and died before they allowed these malicious acts upon them. They wish they had not complied but their fear was too great. Their strength was too small. They couldn't fight off their attackers.

They are ashamed that they didn't do anything about it afterwards. They may be ashamed that it happened more than once.

Some of these people will be addicted to guilt. They don't think they can raise their heads. They don't think they can ever fight off attackers. They think that the bad things that happen to them are their own faults.

Where does this guilt originate? Some of it rests on the fears of the victims. Most of it rests on an evil force that has been sent to keep them under his thumb. He seeks to keep those who could have victory addicted to their guilt for no one is truly free until he is free of his guilt. He never wants you to believe that anyone escapes this addiction. He wants everyone to live forever in guilt.

But this is not the life that Jesus Christ wanted. Jesus died so that everyone could be free from the addiction (slavery) of guilt. He made it possible for everyone to be free from their guilt addiction.

Many have already told themselves that they are not responsible for what happened in the past. They know intellectually that they should feel no guilt but their guilt remains. It comes out in their relationships with others. I comes out in their fears, their lack of trust and/or their accusations of others.

So, what should they do? Tell it all to Jesus. Admit that the fear was so great that they complied with what happened. Admit that they finally got so tired of fighting that there was no more fight left. Then, ask Him, by faith, to take away the guilt by which they have been addicted to. Ask the Lord to battle the evil one who continues to keep them under this addiction. Keep asking until the evil one leaves them alone.

Maybe this isn't a "they" to you. Maybe it is a "me." Please do not live under this addiction any longer. Tell it to Jesus. Let Him fight this battle which He already won on the cross. Fight in the strength of His might.

Ephesians 6:10-12 (ESV) 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.


Anthony Chia said...

Guilt often comes from failure. Failure to act, failure to prevent, failure to abstain, failure to give, and even failure to receive. Guilt is of 2 kinds: Godly sorrow and false guilt.

Godly sorrow (2 Cor 7:10) leads to repentance, confession, and receiving in of the forgiveness of God, and believing the restorative work of God as stated in 1 John 1:9.

When our conscience is pricked, and the Holy Spirit works there, do NOT ignore the godly sorrow that wells up. If you numb your conscience, your heart (NOT your biological pump, but the heart of your soul; which will then also ill-affect your physical heart) will harden, and when it gets increasingly hardened, it will be increasingly difficult for it to response positively to the promptings by the Holy Spirit. While it is right and always timely to remind ourselves, as Ps Prentis was trying to do, that we do NOT wallow in guilt, with devastating effect on ourselves and those around us, especially our loved ones, near us, we are also to refuse to accept erroneous teaching of many overly grace preachers who taught that believers are NOT to be the least concerned with guilt, and that the Holy Spirit does NOT convict believers of sin, with consequent sorrow (godly sorrow).

If we picture ourselves as a dirty shirt, the Cleaner has cleaned it; you don’t go round dropping yourself into puddles of mud. Yes, the Cleaner can clean you again, but you do not go round profaning the grace of the Cleaner (God). No, it is NOT once the Cleaner cleaned you up, you can never be dirty when you drop yourself into the puddle of mud. It is you get dirty and the Cleaner has to go to work. It is the same with sin, only such misled overly grace preachers teach people that when you enter into salvation, at THAT moment you are cleansed of ALL your sins, past, current, AND FUTURE (including those NOT yet committed!), making sin a non-issue subsequent to one’s entry into salvation. I challenge people to show me where it is written in Scripture that consequence of sin is different before salvation and after salvation. Scripture says that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Living a life in false guilt is bad, but living a life grieving the Holy Spirit with our sins is also bad. Enough of this, for if I carry on, on this, I will dilute the thrust of Ps Prentis’ message, which is to let people see that they have a way out of their guilt.

So, remember now, for godly sorrow, you are to response accordingly, repent, confess, ask for forgiveness, and receive the forgiveness and restoration by God, by faith. What then is false guilt? For a believer, false guilt is essentially of unbelief and/or lack of faith, giving rise to opportunity for the evil one to have a way to deceive you. Yes, it is easy for me to say it is a matter of unbelief or lack of faith, but it is NOT so easy, at times, for the one caught in it, to come out of it. The solution provided by such overly grace preachers I talked about above, is NO solution; just because it is difficult for the sufferers to “rid” of the guilt they “feel”, you don’t tell them that there is no such thing as a guilt for a believer, saying purportedly that, at the person’s entry of salvation, all guilt, even of future sins HAD been cleansed of them (at THAT moment of salvation). Such prescription is only attempting to solve a problem, by creating more problems in the time to come. For one thing, it is going to foster a “careless” attitude towards the righteousness and holiness of God. Perhaps, you get rid of one guilt, but more sins are likely down the road (thinking that there is no more consequence of sin, and no more guilt, is going foster the letting down of one’s guard) with more guilt accumulating, real and false.

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Anthony Chia said...

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For a real guilt (godly sorrow), if you do NOT address it, as suggested above, it is like an open wound; it will fester, and then over time, it will be the spot, the evil one will hit at you. Like the open wound, you will get secondary, even more serious complications; the evil one is going to pile in the false guilt. When we “solve” our unbelief and or lack of faith, real guilt gets resolved, disappear (with forgiveness from God, there is no more condemnation, no more guilt), there is no more wound, and the evil one cannot get you there. The issue of false guilt is that you cannot believe enough to “seal” the wound. When you sin, and you do NOT want to do 1 John 1:9; maybe, you are misled, like by those overly grace teaching I referred to, above, the result is the real guilt is NOT got rid of. Or you, so-called, ask for forgiveness, but 2 situations arise: One, you did it perfunctorily; it has no faith in it. Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Bible also said that what is without faith is sin. It is possible in such a scenario, real guilt is NOT got rid of. Two, God is gracious to forgive you, real guilt is eliminated, but apparent guilt remains, because you still doubted. Apparent guilt is false guilt; and because you doubt, you give the evil one a chance to deceive you. Of course, it is possible that there is really no sin and no real guilt, like one was raped under circumstance the person really could NOT do anything, and there was no fault on her part, yet the evil one can come and deceive because she has a doubting mind; inevitably a doubting person has many openings or open wounds, which the evil one can pile in.

So, it is clear, you have to address real guilt, follow through the godly sorrow; and you have to build up your understanding of core theologies of the faith, so that your faith grows and be strong, for faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17,KJV). In our hearing (or reading) the Holy Spirit gives the understanding. The Christian faith is NOT a blind faith. True faith is founded on correct understanding of the Word of God. The key understandings required to battle against guilt included these:

1. You sin, you have to repent, confess, and ask for forgiveness. You must believe by faith that 1 John 1:9 applies to you, as a believer. God is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness, every time you confess.

2. Remember, there is no consistency, reliability and dependability in evil, such are only found in God, for God is holy; and so, the evil one is no gentleman, he is the Deceiver, you must NOT let your guard down (Ps Prentis quoted Eph 6:11 – always put on the full armor of God).

3. Because God is holy, there is consistency, there is reliability and there is dependability in God, and therefore in His Word. His Word is trustworthy, God cannot lie, because He is a holy God (The evil one on the other hand, is a Liar). You got to believe His Word, and rest your faith in His Word, regardless of views of men. In other words, if the other people or the evil one tells you things to the contrary to the Word, like you are still guilty or “dirty”, you just stick to the Word. You got to internalize the Word of God, and let nothing shake it out of you. When God said you are forgiven, you are forgiven; when God said He condemns you no more, you are not condemned any more, do not feel guilty, don’t let men or the devil tells you that you are still guilty, and you got to tell yourself that you are no more guilty because God has forgiven you.

If you are still unable to break free on your own, you need help, and you have to put aside your pride, and let godly counselor to come in to help you.