It’s impossible to go through life without messing things up, isn’t it. As sinners, we can make wrong decisions throughout our lives that can have major consequences, and the guilt that results can have a devastating impact on our lives.
According to Lee Turner in his book, “Grace Discipleship Course“, “Guilt has a paralyzing effect upon our lives; it is a great destroyer.” Lee then shares this story.
“In 1959 an Air Force major entered a Texas mental institution for the second time. He had tried to commit suicide twice and had been arrested for forgery and robbery. For years he had been drinking heavily, and his marriage disintegrated. Fifteen years before he had been a model officer. He flew the lead plane over Hiroshima. Shortly after the raid he had dreams where throngs of Japanese were chasing him. His life began to collapse. The psychiatrist who treated him said the major was subconsciously trying to provoke punishment from society to atone for the guilt he felt over Hiroshima and other acts. Unresolved guilt was destroying his life.”
Lee continues, “Guilt is a widespread problem. Over 21,000 people a year commit suicide; they just give up in despair. Others push guilt into the subconscious and think they are free–yet they are not. Guilt manifests itself in many ways. Five hundred people were asked, “What do you experience when you are feeling guilty?” They answered: 1. They have a fear of punishment; 2. Low Self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness, depression; and 3. They feel rejected and isolated. These three crippling enemies will be put to flight when you realize that you are totally forgiven and perfect in Christ. You will breathe the exhilarating air of freedom from guilt that will allow you to enjoy the Christian life. God not only gives us a new life in Christ but a new past. Although God forgives and blots out our past sins, sometimes our memories of emotionally damaging experiences won’t let us unshackle the bonds of guilt. We must change our thinking to agree with God by grasping the reality of God’s truth that our past is gone. When we completely comprehend our total forgiveness, we will be able to look at our former life objectively without emotional pain. We can view our past as dispassionately as the life of Abraham Lincoln or some other historical person. The emotional damage from the past will heal, and we will be free to totally abandon ourselves to experience the victorious life we have in Christ.”