If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
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I grew up watching the old television show Leave it to Beaver. As a child, I related pretty well to Beaver despite the fact that he was a little boy. I’d frequently come home dirty and disheveled, often trying to ‘hide’ from my parents what mischief I’d been in. Oh, just like Beaver, it was never horrible trouble. It was always just enough of something that I knew they wouldn’t be happy with me.
You’d think as an adult, I could finally relate to June Cleaver, Beaver’s mom. I’m a mom, so that would make sense, right? Unfortunately, my mom-ness never quite measures up to Mrs. Cleaver, and so I still can’t identify with her. My laundry whites are never as white, dinner is frequently take-out or Ramen noodles (Ramen nood-o’s as my oldest called them as a toddler), and we seldom eat at the dinner table. I hate to admit that, especially because I’m sure my mom might read this at some point. My mom could measure up to June. Just like June, my mom could do it all. She taught full time, ran a business, ran a cattle ranch, sewed our clothes, helped us with homework, and still cooked all our dinners from scratch which we ate together around the dinner table every night.
Sometimes, when my family gathers around the TV, Ramen noodles in hand, figuratively, of course, I look around and just a tiny bit of guilt seeps in. I think how we should be at the table. I worry that I didn’t represent all the food groups for dinner. I wonder if I’m the only slacker mom around.
And those things cause just some of my guilt. I remember when my boys were little, and I felt a little guilty because I didn’t keep their hair cut as neatly as I could have, and sometimes I felt guilty because we couldn’t afford the newest toys. I feel guilty over using frozen pie crusts, frozen rolls…guilt over not liking to arrange slumber parties for my daughter…and that I can’t braid hair. And most recently, guilt for taking two sick days…even though my daughter was running a fever and vomiting. And then guilt about even considering that I felt guilty about missing work since my daughter was so sick! Oh my goodness, all this guilt could cause a person to go a little bonkers.
Typically, when I begin to write, I first have a scripture that has touched my heart. From that scripture, I consider what in my life relates, and I go from there. This time, all of that daily ‘guilt’ was weighing on my mind. I wondered if other women ever felt the same, and so I started with a concept first rather than a scripture. In looking for a passage about guilt, though, I couldn’t find anything that related to how I felt. All of the biblical guilt I read about deals with sin – big things – transgressions – things that keep us away from the Lord. But what about the little things? Not eating at the table? Is that a sin? How about not making rolls from scratch? Or not buying your kid the latest, biggest toy? Sins? I wouldn’t think so. If a sin is anything that separates us from God, then those things aren’t sins. But maybe how we feel about them is.
I know that’s extreme but think about it. We feel guilt for those things. If biblically, guilt is for a sin for which we haven’t repented, then it’s not for these things…well, I guess it depends on ‘why’ we aren’t eating at the table, right? But if it’s to gather around the tv or to eat out in the yard and there is active conversation and relation building…that’s not a sin.
If you get the frozen rolls that taste homemade (there are some out there, believe me, I use them!) and it’s so you aren’t completely stressed when you sit down so that you can enjoy your family and company and build relationship with them…that’s not a sin.
Maybe what we’re feeling instead of guilt is fear – fear that people are judging us. Our ‘sin’ is against the minds and prejudices of people evaluating us.
As I read scripture after scripture about guilt for our transgressions, every one of them assured of Christ’s redemption. When we repent for our sins and when we strive to nurture our relationship with Him, we are forgiven.
Romans 8:1 says, ‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ No condemnation.
So let me say this, if Christ does not condemn us, then why do we worry so much what people say?
Lord, help me realize the guilt I feel for these daily tasks comes from my fear of people’s judgment and that when I’m secure in your own acceptance of me and forgiveness for my transgressions that I know these other things do not matter. Keep my focus and my intention on you and let me remember that as long as I do that, I have no need to fear.
Love in Him,
What are some things you feel guilty about? How can you release that guilt to God?
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