Guilt Might...

  • ...get you nowhere
  • ...create a violent life that thrashes around in a flailed attempt to make up for past mistakes
  • ...paralyze you
  • ...blind you to the freedom that is yours because of grace

Last Sunday's call to a life of true repentance that pursues justice - particularly for the poor - from a heart of mercy left many of us feeling guilty for our failure to live this way. The response this week in our community groups has been somewhat predictable: feverish planning to do something about the poor.

While I don't intend to get in the way of the work of the Spirit - and I do believe he intends to change us into a people who give our lives to the cause of justice and mercy - you might want to listen to this from David Powlison:

So often when people feel remorse for what they've done wrong, it is a remorse against their idealized self-image, a remorse in their own eyes, and a remorse against what other people think about them.

There is a kind of guilt that will not make you more like Jesus but will drag you away from him in a bitter self-reliance. But there is a kind of guilt that owns up to our failure to declare and display the character and life of God and leads us straight to the cross where Jesus died to forgive us for our unjust treatment of the poor and to free us from the deep spiritual poverty created by injustice.

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