by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday July 9, 2004
InTouch Early Light Devotional
The Struggle With Guilt
1 John 1:5-9
Many faithful believers struggle daily with the issue of guilt. Some may even believe that guilt is a vital part of the healthy Christian life. This is a dangerous fallacy that we must completely avoid.
Part of the problem arises from a misconception about what guilt is. Basically, it is a sense of wrongdoing, an emotional conflict that grows out of second thoughts about something we've done. Furthermore, guilt is sometimes confused with godly "conviction." To understand the issue of guilt, we must learn the difference.
Conviction comes as the Holy Spirit within us makes us aware of the discrepancy between our behavior and God's standards for living. When we feel this conviction, we must name that sinful behavior, confess it to God, and turn away from it. At that moment, the issue is settled; God does not want you to suffocate in a lingering cloud of guilt. He came to set you free!
Guilt, however, does not bring the freedom that comes through conviction. Rather, it works to strangle us and render us utterly useless to God. Does this sound familiar? Have you ever been so wracked with guilt that you were incapable of doing anything of value? That is the effect of false guilt, which stems from erroneous biblical teaching, a troubled upbringing, criticism, or low self-esteem. These are all tools of the Devil, whose greatest desire is to make you ineffective.
Don't allow false guilt to control your life. You are free in Christ Jesus. Exercise that freedom today by allowing God to remove the crushing weight of guilt.
Are you looking for an outreach that will inspire your children to grow in their faith? Visit Teen Connection (www.teen-connection.info), the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to check out the latest interviews with Atlanta Braves' pitcher Russ Ortiz and Dove award-winning band, downhere.
For free one-on-one mentoring online from Dr. Charles Stanley, visit