Monday, June 30, 2014

Stop Feeling Guilty

More and more Christians today seem to be feeling guilty. In a politically correct culture that's pegged us as bigoted, narrow-minded, judgmental, and unloving, we all-too-often find ourselves hanging our heads in shame and pleading "guilty." If you hear something bad about yourself enough times, maybe you start to actually believe it. And so we apologize for ourselves and try to reinvent ourselves in a way that will garner wider-appeal. We strive to be relevant in a world that seems to be evolving rapidly without us. We downplay biblical truth and talk innocuously about "love" conveniently avoiding its true meaning and Godly origin.

And so, we want to be liked by the world.

We're aghast at the sinful behavior that so often creeps into our community. We're ashamed of our broken churches filled with broken people. We wince at the hateful behavior of Westboro Baptist Church types (who, despite their tiny numbers, get way more media coverage than the vast majority of compassionate Christians do). We squirm at the problematicsometimes violenthistory of the church. We find ourselves sinking in a pit of generational sin. But instead of rejoicing that despite being sinners, our righteousness is in Christ, we seem to be morbidly more comfortable with clinging to the guilt.

And so, we want to be forgiven by the world.

With the move away from the fire-and-brimstone preaching style of yesteryear in which guilt and fear sadly dominated our faith, we've ended up losing much of the accountability, but we're still hanging on to all of the guilt. Satan is the "great accuser," and we're willingly giving him our ear. We believe too many of the lies we hear about ourselves and we lament the way the world sees us.

And so, we want to be accepted by the world.

And to all this, add the tendency of many Christians to beat ourselves up for not being good enough. Often, we seek our identity in our spiritual successes and consequently lose our identity in our failures. Instead of placing our identity in Christ, we mirror the worldly pattern of self-centeredness.

But Christians need to stop with all the guilt!

Okayso we're sinners. Yeswe get it wrong some of the time. Absolutely—we make mistakes. Hands down—we're far from perfect. But, we are children of the living God. We are justified by faith, not by works. Our righteousness is in Him. And many of us are sincerely trying to live in obedience to Him. And so, we need to...

...Stop feeling guilty when we want to express our Christian faith in a culture that claims to be "tolerant."

...Stop feeling guilty for believing that Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life.

...Stop feeling guilty for the times when pleasing God means displeasing people.

...Stop feeling guilty for holding to absolute truth in a secularized culture that believes everything is either relative or bigoted.

...Stop feeling guilty for saying, "Merry Christmas," at Christmas.

...Stop feeling guilty for believing in God's design for marriage.

...Stop feeling guilty when our hearts are grieved at seeing 8-year-old Shiloh Pitt's gender-bending garb.

...Stop feeling guilty for identifying wrong as wrong and right as right in a world where anything goes.

...Stop feeling guilty for believing that the Bible actually has it right.

...Stop feeling guilty for making counter-cultural choices, like how to educate our kids and what values to instill in them.

...Stop feeling guilty for bursting the bubble of selfism that teaches everyone that they are perfect just as they are.

...Stop feeling guilty for speaking the truth in love that we are all sinners who fall short of God's glory and we all need a Savior.

We have been set free from sin and are now slaves to righteousness. (Rom 6:18). So, then, l
et's stop feeling guilty and start feeling grateful!


Norma said...

Excellent post.

Sandra said...

This should be read in all churches out loud. Everything said is biblical and needed .