“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Have you ever been closer to the Lord than you are today? Feelings of guilt and shame keep us from experiencing an intimate relationship with Jesus. They steal the fullness of joy and abundance of peace we’re promised in Him. It can be something from your past, a habitual sin, or even false guilt. Restoring the joy of the Lord requires dealing with guilt and shame at its root.
Many believers carry guilt from knowing God’s standard but thinking they’ve disqualified themselves from enjoying the relationship with Christ they once knew. Most people don’t take a rapid descent into spiritual decline; subtle decisions along the way create degrees of separation. So, don’t ask yourself if something is harmless—ask if it’s godless. If the answer is, “Yes,” then confess it and turn from it.
Sometimes though, we deal with false guilt placed on us by others. For instance, a child can be made to feel guilt by not meeting their parents’ expectations. Or parents may think their child’s rebellion is their failure. And a husband or wife might be told that their actions drove a spouse to be unfaithful. Guilt and shame are powerful manipulators.
Regardless of the cause, breaking the cycle of guilt starts by fixing your heart and mind on Jesus Christ. He gives us an eternal perspective—His perspective. Jesus had victory over the shame of the cross because he had a clear vision of the joy of the crown. He gave up His innocence to pay for our guilt. He could look down on the shame because He was looking at the purpose of eternity.
As the Author of our faith, Jesus gives us purpose. As the Perfecter of our faith, He is able to accomplish what He sets out to do. So, if you’re not as close to Jesus as you once were, get into His Word. Allow the truth and love of Scripture to break the cycle of guilt, heal your brokenness, and restore your joy. Jesus always pursues us to draw us back but we have to not only recognize the reason for the distance, we have to deal with it.