Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guilt - Not So Special Delivery

Hey Friend,

I hear the familiar "Beep Beep".  Zoe (my dog) slides to a screeching halt, scrunches up the rug and is barking at the front door.  Yes, it's the UPS truck and ooohh it's a package for me.  How fun!  This time it is a good gift, but later on it dawns on me how freely I accept things not meant for me.
UPS Driver:  "Yep, 103.  This is the address."

Driver's Helper:  "Say, Joe, I'm gonna need help with this one."

Driver:  "Whatcha got?"

Helper:  "It's a giant box marked 'GUILT' going to a Bev Duncan.  Who's going
             to want this?"

Driver: "It's ok; she accepts a big box of it on a regular basis..."
I have to admit that guilt is one of my signature struggles.  Sometimes it's the annoying "woulda, coulda, shouldas" - I would have signed up for that committee (guilt).  I could have been a better friend today (guilt). I should have been a better mom (guilt).  Guilt will pop up when we least expect it.

Sometimes I feel like somehow God is disappointed in me and I get this pervading sense of guilt that I should have done/been better.  This is "false" guilt and Satan is at work trying to make me feel badly about myself.  He comes to lie, seek and to destroy.  Actual "true" guilt is something concrete that we can point our finger to and say this was wrong.  Label it what it is...SIN.  Sin is sin, but even if it's a really big sin, there is still wonderful news found in 1 John 1:9:

"If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  NO SIN IS TOO BIG FOR GOD'S FORGIVENESS!!

There is also a difference between Conviction and Condemnation.  Conviction is the Holy Spirit gently guiding us to see the sin in our lives and pointing us in the direction of repentance and redemption.  Condemnation, on the other hand, is harsh.  It says you're guilty and there's no way out.  But, again there is great news found in Romans 8:1:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." 

If you claim Christ as your Savior, there is no condemnation...none, zippo, zilch, nada.  Think of it as the Guilt exchange.  We give God our guilt and He gives us His Grace.

     Guilt>Grace: The price has been paid.  The cross is our receipt!

Someone once said that GRACE stands for God's Redemption At Christ's Expense.  It's true - God sent His Son so that we might be redeemed from our sins.  Why?? Because God is Love.  He loves us...HE LOVES YOU !!!

"No one is beyond his grace.  No situation, anywhere on earth, is too hard for God."  (J. Cymbala)

I know I've gone on at length about Guilt and ultimate Grace, but as Easter approaches, this is something I really want you to fully embrace.  God loves YOU so much that He would have sent His son to die for you if you were the only person on this planet.  Wow - now THAT is Love!

So when the UPS truck wants to stop at your door or my door with a package that is not meant for us, let's wave him on by.  I will if you will...


ps.  A great reminder of our freedom in Christ is found in the lyrics of "I Am Free to Live For You" popularized by the Newsboys.  Google it and check it out.