But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18)
Sometimes guilt shows up all over the offender. If you walk into your living room and find your sofa pillow in shreds, the stuffing scattered over the floor, you will probably find your dog in the corner with head hanging low, tail between his legs, and eyes that shout, “YES, I DID IT!” Just look at him—he is as guilty as sin.
After a while, we learn to hide our guilt from others fairly successfully, but we have greater difficulty getting rid of the feelings of condemnation. God installed a moral compass in us, and conscience is its voice. It testifies to the rightness or wrongness of our thoughts and behavior, bringing peace when we do right and guilt when we do wrong. Conscience is a gift from a loving God who wants us to be free from guilt and to live in joyful peace. We can dull the shouts of conscience until they become only whispers, but we cannot remove the stain of sin and its accompanying condemnation.
Only Jesus provides the means of removing guilt, replacing condemnation with peace, cleansing the conscience, and permitting those who believe in him to live authentic, transparent lives of integrity. God wants us to be loosed from the bondage of sin and the burden of guilt, and he loved us enough to give his Son so we could experience this freedom.
Thank God that he loves you enough to make you sensitive to wrong.
Ken Heer was an ordained minister with The Wesleyan Church, prior to his death in 2016. He served as a pastor, educator, and church leader for more than fifty years.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.