This passion thief is a big one. Few things rob you of joy, rob your confidence or rob your passion more quickly than guilt.
Here’s how it works with guilt regarding the sin in our lives. We don’t walk around thinking, "I have a sin in my life. I am a guilty person." No, we rationalize it consciously. Consciously we think, "It’s ok. Everybody’s doing it. It’s no big deal." But subconsciously it gnaws at us.
My sin is one that is very difficult for me. But before I tell you what it is, let me rationalize it. I have ALS and I can't really move my hands and legs. I am dependent on other people for the most basic things in my life. Basic things like, eating, drinking, going to the toilet, showering - do I need to go on?
My situation takes a certain level of humility, asking someone to take me to the toilet is a very humbling experience.
In all of these things, I find myself feeling impatient and angry with those taking care of me. I become overly demanding and not forgiving when they make a mistake.
The problem with this sin is that I think about it when I go to bed at night and I feel horrible about the way I treated the people who are doing their best in a bad situation. People that obviously love me and want to do nothing but good. Also this horrible feeling robs me of a good night sleep and leaves me with no energy for anything worthwhile.
A lot of you work on computers. Anybody besides me ever had your computer crash? Sometimes they crash. They stop working. Some program tries to write the wrong thing to the wrong place and it’s gone! Guilt does that to us as human beings. We’re not made to live with guilt. God did not make you to carry guilt around in your life. He made us to deal with it immediately. He sent Jesus to this earth to die on a cross to say, I want to offer you a gift -- freedom from guilt. That is God’s gift.
But some of you right now, you’re in the midst of a personal system crash. Truth of the matter is the joy in your life has crashed and you’re trying to keep the enthusiasm up, you’re trying to keep the passion alive. But the guilt keeps crashing your system. So what do you do?
1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins He [God] can be trusted to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." That’s His promise. To confess just means you agree with God.
I would encourage you -- do it now! Don’t wait. Sometimes we carry guilt around for days, weeks, months. You shouldn’t carry guilt around even an hour. The minute that you realize that the red warning light is flashing, do something about it. Don't carry it. So right now in your mind, in your heart, take it to God.
My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning. Lamentations 3:20-23