Ps 85 – “You lifted the cloud of guilt from your people, you put their sins far out of sight.”
We need some level of guilt. Guilt is to the soul what pain is to the body — a warning; a caution that a line has been crossed or is about to be crossed. Never believe someone who says that guilt is the scourge of religion. It emanates not from religious tenets but from the Spirit of God.
However, once guilt has served its purpose — to call us back to righteousness and holiness — it can morph into a harsh task-master. Such guilt can become crippling, as it torments rather than convicts. It tends to destroy rather than warn. It suffocates rather than serves. Such guilt undermines the purposes and the people of God.
Clouds tend to cast shadows, and dark clouds cast the darkest shadows. They block the light. They disrupt our visibility. Guilt does the same — until God lifts it. We all know the persistence of guilt. It usually shifts to shame and fear, and soaks up our energy. It preoccupies us and enslaves us.
Here’s the good news, again. Christ has paid the penalty for all sin, and broken the power of all sin. Whatever we have done yesterday, last week, last year, or two decades ago only has the power that we give it. When we said “Yes” to Jesus, His “Yes” to us in that same moment signaled our second chance. That “second chance” — His mercies — come to us new every morning, even this morning.
Carrying a burden of guilt? If it drives you to Jesus, well and good. If it keeps you from Him, it is the enemy of your soul. Take a deep breath, a “prayer breath” at the start of this new day and new week. Let’s resolve today to live more fully in the Light than under the cloud.
Breath Prayer for Today: “In Your Light, Lord.”