If you’ve watched any crime show, there’s that moment when the guilty person comes face to face with their crime. They’re caught in a lie and it can’t be hidden any longer.
Sometimes we do the same. We look in the mirror and silently embrace the words, “YOU’RE GUILTY.”
Perhaps there’s a reason behind the feeling. Sadly for some, it’s not true at all. We just live like it is.
There’s a small tattoo on my wrist. It’s Hebrew script for grace. It’s a reminder that I’m bought with a price — redeemed! — and His mercy covers me.
Years ago I lived my faith as if I fell short . . . all the time. Rather than live with joy, I continually battled guilt — not enough; never going to measure up; not like her; did I screw this up?
Our faith was never intended to be tangled in guilt.
So what can we do?
Exchange guilt for mercy
If I’ve said something I shouldn’t or I’ve done something I wish I hadn’t, there’s some place to go.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22 (NLT)
Exchange guilt for conviction
I can be honest about about where things went wrong so I can do it differently next time.
I can make those wrongs right to the best of my ability. I can say I’m sorry and sincerely mean it.
Then I move down a new path so that I can run after all that my Savior has for me.
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11 (NLT)
Our biggest accuser can be the enemy, but it can also be ourselves as we hang on to guilt and allow it to become our identity. Conviction rather than guilt allows us to deal with it and with those we hurt, and then continue to grow.
Exchange lies for the truth
This is the hard part. Sometimes we live in guilt and we’ve not done anything wrong.
I’m blown away by how many women I meet who carry shame, and when they share those feelings you discover that it’s linked to words spoken over them 20 years earlier.
To live guilt-free means that we shut down the whispers of the enemy with truth. We sort through what is unsound and unbiblical to build a foundation on the Word of God — rather than the words of people.
They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. Matthew 23:4 (NLT)
Exchanging a lie for the truth takes place as we ask God to show us the source of those misplaced feelings. Usually it’s tied to hurting people, or those who were stuck in guilt and pulled you in with them.
Why live guilt free? Because then we truly become free.
We are free to work through our mistakes and grow. We’re free to admit when we’re wrong and humbly ask for forgiveness. We’re free to accept His words of love and healing power. We’re free to offer a guilt-free, joy-wrapped woman to those closest to us.
We’re free to look in the mirror and see a reflection of His grace.
I have battled with guilt all my life. For the most part, I’ve broken free, but the enemy still lurks and he knows that in weak and weary moments, he can pull me back into the vicious cycle. I love the image of my guilty conscience being sprinkled with Christ’s blood. Even if I am convicted of something, I am not condemned. The good news is that by what Jesus did on the cross, I am pardoned. The price has been paid. It is finished. As far as the east is from the west is where God has removed my “guilt” to.
Great reminder this morning and I love the tattoo! I love the thought of exchanging guilt for grace!
Thanks, Bev. What a beautiful honest comment.
Father, thank you for Bev. She’s holding up guilt and receiving grace in return today. Thank you for that gift. We don’t receive it lightly but rather praise You for the gift that is to us. We dance in delight at what you offer with such generosity and love.
Thank you for the encouragement to live in grace and mercy!
Kelly, I see far too many women truly held back by this one thing. I’ve had people say, “But we need guilt,” and I know what they are trying to say. That we shouldn’t live as if there are no consequences to our actions. Yet the reality is that most of these beautiful women are trying so hard and yet guilt mires them in shame, which defeats them daily. Conviction leads us to action and change. That’s our go-to!
Free to look in the mirror and see a reflection of His grace! Hallelujah! I’m going to remember that when I look in the mirror today. 🙂 I love that difference between guilt and conviction. We get them mixed up so easily. Guilt ties us. Conviction frees us.
I’m so glad to link up with you today. When I saw Astrid’s prompt, I loved it! Hope you have a great day, Suzie.
Betsy, you are such a great part of this community!
Betsy I like how you phrased that Guilt ties us! Conviction frees us!
Love this topic and appreciate you gathering this community, Suzie! Write on, sisters!
Hi Kelly, I love hanging out with this community! I’m so glad you are a part. I hope to see you back again and again. <3
“Why live guilt free? Because then we truly become free.” There is nothing better than becoming free! Love this, Suzie! Blessings!
I agree, Lisa. We weren’t intended to call our Heavenly Father by name and then to live as if there is no relationship. He heals. He cleanses. He sets our feet on a new path!
Great post, Suzie! If Jesus says I’m clean, His words carry more authority than my feelings!
I just love this, Suzie! Guilt is so often placed on us in the words spoken to us or over us, but then we hold onto them, letting them grow in our hearts and allow them to stop the goodness of our own stories. When you sent out the prompt, I already had my piece prepared for this week. I almost didn’t link up because I didn’t have the word “guilt” in my title. But in my heart I knew that the betrayal of others is what the enemy uses as a tool to breed feelings of guilt. And what we do with that and where we focus our attention when it happens determines whether we will live confident and guilt-free. So, sweet friend, I hope my contribution this week is still okay! I treasure your heart and ministry and soooooo want to always honor your community, as well!!!!!
Blessings and smiles,
Your link-up was awesome, Lori! And you are spot on; where we focus our attention DOES determine whether we will live in confidence, or in guilt. I’m so grateful for the reminder! Blessings!
I’m so glad you chose to link up. ♥️♥️♥️
Thanks for this post, Suzie! I linked up my blog post for the first time last week, and now this week. Your posts are so inspiring, and so are your writing prompts. It got me out of the writer’s block I have been experiencing for several months. My family would definitely say they would rather be around the Guilt-Free Me than when I’m acting like a Pharisee! I love how you encourage writers to write!
I agree with you, Cheryl! I so enjoyed reading your link-up and am excited to have you in the #livefreeThursday community!! Keep writing, sister! Blessings 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement, Crystal!
I love that you are part of this community!
Thanks Suzie! This is something I continue to wrestle with off and on. No matter how much I know in my head GRACE is a gift and no matter how much I say it, every once in a while the enemy will trip me up by bringing back to mind an old sin or failure. I am learning when that happens to run to ABBA and ask for Him to cleanse my mind and remind me of His love and grace. God Bless you for your encouragement to all of us!
Come boldly into His presence! I live the image of running to a place of safety and strength!
We are free to be unguilty. Thank you for your words, Suzie, and for hosting this linkup!! Happy Friday!