Overactive Guilt

Written on 09/01/2023
Christian Dunn

Verse: 1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Sometimes in following Jesus it can be frustrating because there is so much mystery. It is hard for our western, scientific minds to grapple with the nuances of how God works. For example: prayer. We would love to have a formula for prayer that would "make it work." A+B=C. If I pray this many times, with this many words, then what I pray for will happen. But prayer is mysterious. We are commanded to pray, and so we do, and yet we don't have control over what happens.

There are other examples too: faith is mysterious -  how do you have faith that's really small and yet does really big things? Love is even mysterious - how do you love your enemies?

But this verse in 1 John is not mysterious at all. Maybe that's why I love it. It actually is a lot like a formula. Confess your sins = forgiveness + purification. 

Are you struggling with shame and guilt today? Are you beating yourself up over a sin failing? Are you feeling down about yourself and your faith because of a poor decision?

Here's the amazing truth: there is nothing you can do to fix it....because JESUS ALREADY DID IT. He did what we could never do. So all that is left is to turn to him, ask forgiveness, and receive it. Not only does he forgive us, but by his grace and his Spirit he purifies us. He washes us clean. He lifts our shame and heaviness and gives us peace and joy.

Today, if you are battling this shame, please pray this verse over your life. Please remember that once you confess your sins to him, YOU ARE FORGIVEN. End of story. Don't let your overactive guilt, or the enemy, tell you anything different.