Today’s Daily Light
Continuing….The Search For Significance, by R. McGee
Guilt Versus Conviction
Some of us understand guilt as a sense of legal and moral accountability before God. We may try to distinguish it from low self-esteem by reasoning that guilt is the result of a sinful act or moral wrongdoing while low self-esteem is derived from a feeling of social or personal inadequacy. Consequently, a lie makes us feel unacceptable to God and brings guilt, while bad table manners make us feel unacceptable to the people around us and bring low self-esteem. This perspective shows some depth of thought, but it focuses on an emotional response to guilt rather than its root cause. At its root, guilt is the condition of being separated from God and of deserving condemnation for sin. Low self-esteem can be experienced by Christians or non-Christians, anyone who believes Satan’s lies and feels like a failure, hopeless and rejected.
As we have prior determined, guilt has a restricted meaning in the New Testament. It refers only to man’s condition prior to his salvation. Only the non-Christian is actually guilty before God. He has transgressed the law of God and must face the consequences. Guilt shakes its fist and says, “You have fallen short and must pay the price. You are personally accountable.” Our condemnation is removed only through Christ. He took all of our guilt upon Himself when He accepted the penalty for our sins and suffered the full punishment for all sin. Because of His substitution, we need never face guilt’s consequences. We are acquitted and absolved from guilt, free from our sentence of spiritual death.
Many of us have been told that we are still guilty even after we have trusted Christ to pay for our sins. And sadly, we have heard this in places that should be loudly and clearly proclaiming the forgiveness and freedom found in the cross–our churches. Perhaps some people think that if they don’t use guilt for motivation, we won’t do anything. Guilt may motivate us for a short while until we adjust to being properly motivated. But a short period of waiting is well worth the long-term results of grace-oriented, intrinsic motivation.
Learn to identify incorrect teaching, guilt motivation, and the results of guilt in your own thoughts. Then refuse to believe the lies any longer, and focus instead on the unconditional love and forgiveness of Christ. His love is powerful, and He is worthy of our intense zeal to obey and honor Him. The result of proper motivation is an enduring, deepening commitment to Christ and His cause rather than the prevalent results of guilt motivation: resentment and the desire to escape. Christians are freed from guilt, but we are still subject to conviction. (con’t tomorrow 😊)
Friends…read that last paragraph several times to ‘absorb’ the idea of it into your spirit mind. Let it soak and marinate to where the key premise of it becomes your motivation for life…which is…. my prayer: Father…form in us an intense zeal to obey and honor You. Help us to seek an enduring and ever deepening commitment to follow Jesus and to walk in such a way that we become a reflection of His love and light to those that are lost in this temporary darkness. For Your eternal glory…You are soooo special Father….You are so loving and truly a wonderful King our Lord Jesus…. Amen