When I was in high school, I went to a party. Now, I didn't go to a lot of parties in high school. It just wasn't my thing. I didn't feel the need to.
But this particular party I told a have lie to my parents by saying that I was going to a friends house that night for her birthday party. Now, it was a half lie because I WAS going to her house, but what I made this night out to be to my parents wasn't what was actually going down.
After work that night I went to the party, having no intentions on staying that long. I wanted to say hi to the people there, say happy birthday to my friend, and go.
I didn't take a SINGLE drink of alcohol that entire 40 minutes I was at the party. I didn't even drink water.
As I was putting my shoes on to leave, the cops pulled up, busting the party with a bunch of underaged kids drinking. My thought was "I won't get in trouble. I didn't drink anything. Im fine".
Once the cops caught everyone, they sat us down in a circle in the house and proceeded to use a breathalyzer on us all.
Still, my thoughts were "I didn't drink anything. Im not going to blow anything. Im fine".
It got to me...and believe it or not I blew a .004. A .004 people.
I was flabergasted. I asked the cop to let me do it again and he wouldn't. But...I hadnt drank anything? How is this possible?
Then..the guilt and shame came when I had to call my parents and tell them that I had blew a .004 at a party with underaged drinkers, when I had been the only one there not drinking.
I knew they wouldn't believe me. How could they? The breathalyzer said that it said. I didn't have any proof that I didn't. But that wasn't the worse part. The worst part was going to school the next day hearing all of the rumors of people saying "Lexie got SO drunk last night. She was wasted. She got busted at a party for drinking. Caught by the cops".
I can't even express to you the frustration and guilt that I felt. To this day I still don't understand what happened....but I know full well that it was Gods way of saying that wasn't the path I needed to go down. I carried it with me a long time. I let it control my thoughts. I felt like an imposter. All of the people who used to look up to me now saw me as this person who did that thing that the whole school is talking about.
We all face guilt and shame. Maybe you did something that you just replay in your mind every single day and it torments you. Or maybe it was something someone did TO you.
Whatever it is, we are free from it.
There are two types of guilt: Felt guilt, and Actual guilt.
The guilt that I felt over being at a party that got busted was felt guilt. I knew I shouldnt have been there. But the guilt I felt over the whispers I the hallway and the lies spread around about me..that was actual guilt. The kind that left me questioning why God would "let that happen". I felt condemned. Chained.
This is the kind of guilt that I believe we should feel to a certain extent. Its the guilt that says those hurtful words you just fired at your friend you should probably apologize for. Its the guilt that we drove by the homeless person who was shivering in the cold asking for anything to help, when we have a blanket in the back we could have stopped to give them.
Felt guilt is uncomfortable, but is the internal moral compass that we need in order to live a life like Jesus did. The purpose of this guilt is to remind us to grieve over our own sin. To recognizes it, gives it to God, and go better next time. This guilt is not so much a punishment, as it is a gift to help us live the righteous lives Christ died for us to live.
This is a Spiritual state of condemnation. This is the guilt that leaves you chained to your past. This is the guilt that leaves you unable to let anyone in because of that guilt you felt from that past relationship.
The very first promise in the Bible is a representation of God devilering his people out of guilt and shame and into redemption and deliverance. This guilt and shame that we carry with us is the one that Jesus died on the cross for. He won the victory over it at calvary.
This means that because that guilt and shame was crucified on the cross, God no longer sees us as guilty. Do you understand that? Read it again. You have a clean slate.
Because we are humans, that guilt and shame may creep its way back into our hearts and minds in the moments we are vulnerable. But it ultimately has no power anymore over you.
Its YOU giving it power when you give energy to carrying it with you.
This is the way that I picture it:
Its like you, at the bottom of a well, with chains around your ankle that are attached to nothing. Gods comes to the well and throws down a rope to you and says "come, lets get you out of there. Lets walk in freedom together." But you say "God I can't. Im chained to this thing.". God says "My child...you are holding onto this guilt and shame for nothing. Its hindering you. You are already free. There was blood shed for that guilt..let it go and let me hold you".
Do not believe the lie that the shame and guilt you are holding is a punishment from God. He doesn't even see it. Im sure Gods looking down on us going "I don't get it, whats holding you down? You are a free man?".
Instead of letting your guilt and shame be a reminder of the things you wish you could have done differently, instead of letting it chain you down...let it be a reminder that we are not perfect, but Jesus is.
Today I want you stand Rooted in the Truth that your guilt and shame has no power over you. It might be comfortable, but its not you story. Rewrite your headline. Uproot the guilt, dig deeper roots in His Grace.
Where are you letting go of guilt today? What lie has the enemy been telling you that you can declare truth over?