Pastors Thoughts 12 February 2018
GUILT IS THE CHAUFFEUR THAT DRIVES US TO THE CROSS
“And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t
give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)
Christopher Hitchens is an atheist who wrote a book called “God Is Not Great”. In the book he writes about how horrible it would be if God actually existed. One of his main reasons for making this statement is that our life would be filled with guilt and that we would never have a peaceful moment in our life. There would never be a time where you were not being supervised, watched and judged by a vengeful heavenly being who finds joy in making you feel guilty. He likened a world where God existed to being like living in North Korea. While I realise that guilt is never a wonderful experience, we need to realise that it is not always a horrible thing. In reality, guilt is a design God has put in our souls. It is similar to the pain we feel in our bodies when something is wrong. If I’m walking down the street barefoot and step on a piece of broken glass, a signal goes through my body, saying, “Red alert! Don’t step any further!” The pain effectively warns me that more pain is coming unless I stop. In the same way, when we experience guilt, our conscience says, “Warning! Don’t do that.” That is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
When someone who claims to be a Christian can live in sin without sensing it, then something is seriously wrong. I know that none of us are perfect because we fall short of the glory of God. But there is a difference between stumbling and sinning (intentionally or unintentionally) and being sorry for it and living in habitual, continual sin without any pangs of conscience, guilt, or remorse. If this is happening in your life, then it is very likely that you are a hypocrite and a liar and that your conscience is dead (read 1 Timothy 4:2). If you can comfortably live in sin, without any guilt or remorse then one must question whether you are a child of God.
As the writer of Hebrews shares in the verses above, if you are being challenged and disciplined by God then that is proof you belong to him, that you are loved and that He is growing you in your faith. In other words,if you are a child of God, when you begin to cross the line, the Holy Spirit will use guilt to challenge you. He will be there to say, “No, don’t do that.” That very conviction is a reminder that you are a child of God. So rejoice when you feel guilt. Thank God for guilt. It has been said that guilt is the chauffeur that drives us to the cross. It was on the cross that Jesus died for the sin and guilt of everyone of us. It is by the life and death of Christ that we are accepted. It is because of the cross that we can have no condemnation – that we can be set free from the power of sin in our lives. Therefore, when the chauffeur of guilt rolls in (and it will), don’t run from it or harden your heart to it. Instead, hop aboard and let it bring you back to God – let it bring you back to the cross at Calvary where Jesus put an end to all of your guilt and shame. Confess your sins to Him.
Don’t wallow in your guilt and let it consume the vitality of your life. Let the Holy Spirit refresh you and give you back the joy of Christ’s salvation. Let Him give you a heart that seeks to shun sin and strive to live a life of obedience to Christ.
God bless, Pastor John.