I Feel Guilty

Guilt is a powerful emotion. It may feel like it’s eating at your stomach. That regret gets a foothold in your mind and seems like it won’t let go. At times, it’s almost unbearable. You try to avoid it and push it out, but it lingers and you just feel worse.

The problem is not your guilty feelings. Your guilt is kind of like a medical thermometer that tells you something is wrong. It’s a tool used to identify a problem. Guilt occurs when you have done something wrong and you need God’s forgiveness. No matter how much you hide or suppress your guilt feelings, you still are guilty of doing wrong and you need to deal with the cause.

God made this world so some things are morally right and other things are wrong. When we go against His rules for living, we are guilty of breaking His laws. God made us with a conscience so that when we do wrong, we know it and can sense it. This is one of many attributes that separate us from plants and animals.

Why did God make us so we would have feelings of guilt when we disobey Him? One reason is so we would realize we need Him. When you put your hand on a hot surface you immediately feel pain. God gave you the ability to experience that pain so you would move your hand and not hurt yourself.

Guilt is similar. It is a type of “pain” that God gives us when we sin. We realize what we are doing is not only wrong but it will hurt us. Its purpose is to drive us from sin and help us realize we need God.

Have you ever faced your own need for God? You need His forgiveness for your sins. This is why God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ. On the cross, Christ took upon Himself the burden you are now carrying—the burden of sin, guilt and shame. The Bible says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

There’s no greater joy than knowing your sins are forgiven and being released from your feelings of guilt. Open your heart to Christ today.

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Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”—a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10). But here’s the problem:

Step 2 – People are sinful and separated from God.

We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23). The good news?

Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!

Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives! “Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

Step 4 – Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:

"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."

Did you pray this prayer?